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FOOD / Energy / Clothing BANKS : MORE A HUMANITARIAN THREAD ? 100,000+ Carers Reported As Needing Them In 2018 - Page 25 - Carers UK Forum

FOOD / Energy / Clothing BANKS : MORE A HUMANITARIAN THREAD ? 100,000+ Carers Reported As Needing Them In 2018

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
393 posts
Results for the year ended 31 December 2018 now in !

A new record ... 1.6 MILLION !


The amount of supplies distributed by food banks in the UK has increased by 73% over the past five years.

The Trussell Trust figures show that people on benefits are the most typical recipients, but a significant proportion of three-day food supplies, about 320,000, go to people in work.

Now 20,000+ reads ... that fact alone should be a wake up call for both supporting organisations.

Our C.E.O. had a chance yesterday and ... stayed silent.
Ground zero ... Birmingham ... our second largest city :

BirminghamLive launches #BrumFeeds 2019 after horrifying rise in Brummies using food banks.

How you can help after increase in the number of Brummies using food banks, including children.

It was the campaign which saw generous Brummies donate an astonishing 220 tonnes of food for the city's needy.

Last year BirminghamLive launched the first ever #BrumFeeds campaign in partnership with The Trussell Trust.

Together with the charity, we wanted to help Birmingham families who have to rely on food bank parcels - a figure which had soared 73 per cent in five years.

Our 2018 campaign helped by raising 220 tonnes of food for 10 food banks in Birmingham.

But we knew in 2019 our #BrumFeeds campaign had to do even better.

This year's campaign launched at New Street Station today (April 26). From 7am - 12pm we gave out 270 teddy bears in exchange for social media selfies to highlight the numbers of children using food banks in Brum every week.

Over the past year, data published by the Trussell Trust, showed there has been a 19 per cent rise in the number of emergency food supplies distributed in the UK in the year to March 2019.

But in Birmingham that figure is even higher. There has been a 23 per cent rise in the amount of three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis across the city.


Our city has a population of around 1.1 million and 41,436 packs of food bank supplies were given out between April 2018 to March 2019 - an increase on 33,445 from the previous year.

Of this, 14,015 parcels have been given to children - that is 270 children a week surviving on food bank parcels.

BirminghamLive’s 270 #BrumFeeds teddy bears represent each of these children.

We asked people to take a selfie of themselves with a teddy bear and share it on social with the hashtag #BrumFeeds.

BirminghamLive editor Anna Jeys said: "Our aim is to reach as many Brummies as possible through social media and making them aware of these shocking figures.

"Sharing teddy bear selfies with the #BrumFeeds hashtag, there is potential to reach new people who wouldn't otherwise hear about the issue or learn how to help."

"The average person has 338 Facebook friends, and 208 followers on Twitter - that means the 270 people sharing our message could reach tens of thousands of people.

"If even a fraction of those people donate to their local food bank it will do far more good than any single donation from us."

BirminghamLive brand manager Dan Campbell who helped coordinate the BrumFeed campaign added: “Social media is the biggest platform we have, and it's available to everyone.

"People who see these posts make a donation to their local foodbank it will make a far bigger difference for Brummies in need than we could ever achieve by ourselves."

"Twitter reach alone for #Brumfeeds so far is 347,062, with 3.24m impressions - that basically means a lot of people have seen our hashtag so will be able to find out about how they can donate.

"But also people who need support from their local food bank can find out how to get that help - through going onto the Brum Feeds page on BirminghamLive. "


There are 10 Birmingham food banks involved in the #BrumFeeds campaign:

Aston & Nechells; B30; Birmingham Central; Erdington; Great Barr; Handsworth Birmingham; Kingfisher; Quinton & Oldbury; Sparkhill; and Stechford.

During the past year, 41,436 three-day emergency food supplies were given to people in crisis by the 10 Birmingham food banks. 14,015 went to children -that’s 270 children per week.

Foodbanks' most needed donation items are:

Instant coffee
Biscuits or snack bars
Pasta Sauces
Cooking oil (small)
Tinned Vegetables
Tomatoes (Tinned)
Tinned Fruit
Fruit Juice (carton)
Tinned Meat/Fish
Milk (UHT or powdered)
Sponge Pudding (Tinned)
Rice Pudding (Tinned)
Atta (Chapatti flour)

To make a cash donation, text BRUMFEEDS to 70085 to donate £5. Standard message rates apply. Alternatively, you can opt to give any whole amount up to £20 - simply add the amount you want to donate after BRUMFEEDS, eg. BRUMFEEDS 3 to donate £3.

Issues with universal credit has been identified as a key driver of the increasing need. Almost half of food bank referrals made due to a delay in benefits being paid in the UK were linked to universal credit.

Trussell Trust volunteer Bob Jefford works at the B30 Foodbank at Cotteridge Church on Pershore Road.

He told us: "The #BrumFeeds campaign raised a lot of food, cash and awareness last year.

"These teddy bears are a way of getting the message across in 2019 that this is not simply a problem affecting jobless adults or whatever the image people have of food bank users .

"Anyone can get in this situation and of course this includes their children.

"I've seen countless parents who are so embarrassed to be at our food bank - nobody is there because they want to be. They are there because they have no way of feeding their child.

"The UK is one of the richest countries in the world. The fact that people need to rely on food banks in this day and age is a national disgrace.”

Has a natural disaster hit Birmingham ... an earthquake , perhaps ?

CUK ... our c.e.o. appeared on the forum last week ... I gave her every opportunity to mention food banks ... result ?

Silence !

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/social-a ... tive-36641

That , in itself , speaks volumes ?

So much for the fate of 100,000+ of our fellow carers who had to use a food bank last year.
Number of UK adults on low incomes who face hunger has likely almost doubled since 2004
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases ... 042619.php

The Independent
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/h ... 93206.html

Yep ... stats tie in with reports elsewhere , with Trussells primed and ready for the continuing deluge.

As mentioned before , locally ... now six vans delivery to my local food bank ... even then , on some days .
they run out of certain items ... especially clothes and shoes for children.
Chris From The Gulag wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 5:12 pm
As mentioned before , locally ... now six vans delivery to my local food bank ... even then , on some days .
they run out of certain items ... especially clothes and shoes for children.
Scary thing is, this is more and more becoming the 'norm', and many people are accepting it as so.

Yep ... good article posted earlier in this thread questioning the whole ethos.

Not to be dismissed out of hand , me thinks ?
Ground zero ... Wakefield , West YorkieLand :
Foodbank forced to consider its future due to soaring demand for food parcels.

A food bank that is expected to receive record numbers of referrals this year has said it must consider its future because of soaring demand.

St Catherine’s on Doncaster Road has become one of the city’s most prolific food banks since opening in 2012, handing out emergency food parcels to those struggling to make ends meet.

But with those in need expected to continue rising, workers at the charity fear they may have to fold or cut back simply because they are unable to cope with demand.

Centre manager Lisa Grant said they had more than 5,000 referrals last year, but are on course for more than 8,000 in 2019.

She said: “We are absolutely desperate, our shelves are really bare and we’re wondering if its going to be sustainable.

“The increased demand is also resulting in additional financial costs to our charity which we are not going to be able to sustain in the medium to longer term.

“Without increased financial support we will have to look at ways to reduce costs significantly.

“At the current time, demand is unprecedented with more and more people visiting our food bank and requiring longer-term support.

“We are currently in the process of developing a new database that will be able to provide details of where people are being referred from and numbers.”

Open from Monday to Friday, 11am to 1pm, Mrs Grant says one option to cut costs could be to reduce hours and cut back on some of the emergency food provision they provide, such as soup and hot drinks.

She says that the food bank has 20 volunteers who are working flat out when the doors are open, meeting ‘one person after another’.

She added: “The number of people accessing our food bank is difficult to manage physically and it is having an impact on other activities and services within the centre.

“We try as much as we can to signpost all our service users to other agencies who can help with issues like debt, mental illness, homelessness, domestic violence or addiction, but the numbers of people now accessing our service make it very difficult for us to be able to spend the time required with each person.”

The introduction of the controversial Universal Credit benefits system has had an impact on the food bank, but Mrs Grant says many are simply able to cope with the increasing cost of living.
Ground zero ... London Borough of Lewisham ... a couple of miles from CUK hq ... and what they are doing
practically to assist in this " Field " :

How We Work Towards A Society With No Food Banks.

Food banks are a symptom of, not a solution to, food poverty and inequality. Unfortunately, they are desperately needed until we achieve fundamental reform.

In Lewisham we are about to open donation points at our town hall and council-run libraries to support local food banks.

We know that food banks are a symptom of, not a solution to, food poverty and we need to work towards a society where there is no need for them at all. However, until then, they provide a lifeline for many people who find themselves in crisis.

Austerity is hitting our communities hard. Under the Conservatives and coalition governments, we have seen almost a decade of swingeing cuts to local services, misguided changes to the benefits system and a shocking rise in poverty.

When the Prime Minister proudly declared last year that ‘austerity is over’, this apparently did not apply to local government. By 2020, London councils will have had their government funding reduced by 63% in a decade. At the same time, demand for vital services is rising as more people struggle to make ends meet.

As austerity continues to bite, the voluntary and community sector is increasingly being called on to support vulnerable people. One of the barometers of austerity is the rise in food banks referrals. The UK is supposedly the seventh wealthiest country in the world, yet figures out this week from the Trussell Trust reveal their use is up by 19% in the last year.

The roll out of Universal Credit, the most fundamental change to the benefits system in a generation, is seeing more people being forced to turn to food banks.

According to figures from the Trussell Trust, almost a quarter of food bank referrals in the UK are due to benefit delays. Even the work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, has admitted that Universal Credit is linked to rising food bank use.

Everyone who applies for Universal Credit has to wait at least five weeks for their first payment, which is leaving many without enough money to pay for basics. That is five weeks too long for someone who needs to pay rent, bills or feed their family.

In Lewisham, we are seeing the damaging effects of this as Universal Credit is rolled out across the borough. Lewisham Food Bank is giving out more emergency food parcels to people in crisis than ever.

By 2024, every Lewisham household claiming housing benefit will have migrated to Universal Credit. Unless the five week delay to payments is ended, this has serious implications for the future.

Lewisham Council has a proud history of working closely with its voluntary and community sector to transform the lives of residents. We call it the ‘Lewisham Way’. This week I visited Lewisham food bank to speak with and thank volunteers for the work they do in the community.

I also met people who had been referred to the food bank for a wide range of reasons; from benefit delays to a sudden change in circumstance such as illness. It was heart-breaking to hear how, through no fault of their own, they had been forced into crisis.

Ultimately, we need a fundamental change in Government policy, and a compassionate Labour administration, to address the shocking inequalities in this country.

It is not enough for politicians to tweet a photo of them donating to their local food bank at Christmas, especially when they have voted in favour of cuts and benefit changes. Similarly, supermarkets and large businesses must go beyond donating surplus food or funds and also campaign for change.

Local government has an important role to play too. As a campaigning council, we in Lewisham will continue to urge the Government to reverse its damaging cuts and reform Universal Credit, so that our most vulnerable residents are protected from austerity.

Food banks are a symptom of, not a solution to, food poverty and inequality. Unfortunately, they are desperately needed until we achieve a fundamental reform of Government policy.

Damien Egan is the mayor of Lewisham
Had to smile ... today's edition of the Mourning Star ... thanks ... comrades ?

Food bank appears outside Tory minister’s office.

CIVIL servants ran a foodbank outside a Tory minister’s office last night to highlight “poverty pay” received by outsourced workers in his department.

Business Minister Greg Clark was served with the warning as furious staff took drastic measures to ensure their colleagues can eat over the weekend.

A source from the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union told the Morning Star that there are foodbanks “on every floor” inside the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

They said there had been a “massive response — the boxes were full within an hour.”

The emergency measures come just months after outsourcing giant ISS took over a £49 million facilities management contract at BEIS.

The privateer has claimed that ministers want the company to pay workers below the London living wage of £10.55 per hour.

The contract has been dogged by protests and strikes from the start, with cleaners, caterers, receptionists and security guards walking out.

ISS is accused of failing to pay workers on time or underpaying them.

The situation has seen some staff unable to afford the bus fare for commuting to work, the source said.

More than 500 workers have been affected by the bungled payments and Labour shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey has had to call on her Tory counterpart to intervene.

The union is now in “daily crisis talks with BEIS management,” according to our source.

As well as foodbanks, PCS members have raised over £3,000 in an online fundraiser to set up a hardship fund for striking workers.

They said in a statement: “These workers are on poverty pay — paid below what the independent Living Wage Foundation calculates you need to earn to live in London — and deserve a pay rise.

“BEIS and their cut-price contractors … have refused to meet even this first of our demands.

PCS general secrerary Mark Serwotka said: “It is absolutely shocking that our members are being forced to use foodbanks because of ISS’s mismanagement of the contract.

“This underlines why all contracted out services in BEIS and other government departments must be brought back in house as a matter of urgency.”
Interesting one ... Birmingham Mail ... and life at street level ... for many ?

" I had everything a man could want. Now foodbanks are saving me from knife crime."

Life-changing impact of community help laid bare as part of #BrumFeeds campaign.

Across Birmingham ordinary people are relying on food banks to make it to the next month. But for some, the help and support they provide is life saving.

Sohail Rehman has told BirminghamLive of his struggle against crime in his area and how Sparkhill foodbank is helping him to keep him out of trouble and stay alive.

Sohail says he grew up in an area full of knife crime, but now he’s focused on turning his life around. The 27-year-old believes that, without the food bank, he could be forced to resort to crime to feed himself and his partner.

Sparkhill foodbank is part of our #BrumFeeds campaign. We’ve teamed up with the Trussell Trust to launch a campaign to help local food banks continue to support struggling locals.

Speaking at the foodbank, Sohail said packages provided by the charity were life changing.


He said: “I’ve had a hard time. There is a lot of crime where I grew up and it was a difficult road. There’s so much knife crime. Foodbanks are saving me from crime and from knives I think.

“A lot of people have too much of an ego to use a food bank, so they go and rob places. A lot of the time they’re doing it for food.

“But I think if you want to stay away from that bad life and you want to try and make yourself better it’s good that something like this is here.

“In time I realised that I was never brought up to be a bad person. I went to my car and I cried about it because I’m not that person. I just lost it and said to myself enough is enough.

“I was always told in life there is an easy way and a hard way. I’m not a criminal but I’m not going to say I’m a saint. This is saving me from turning down a bad track.

“You could even say it’s keeping me alive. The streets are dangerous.”

The 27-year-old added a warning to others, saying he went from living in his own flat to getting his next meal from the foodbank in a matter of weeks.

He said: “Two years ago I had a job and my own flat. I had everything a man could want for himself. A little bit back I lost my flat and everything went downhill from there. In about three weeks I lost everything that it took me three years to get.

“It is what it is. I’m not ashamed of it. Things happened and I’ve just always run away from my problems, but it comes to a time where you have to face it.

“The foodbank is a big help. Even when I have no money I’ll have food when I open my drawers.

“I was never one of those who would rely on a foodbank, but I realised I needed that help and sometimes in life you’ve got to realise your situation and put your ego to the side and acknowledge how things actually are.”


Les Allan, who supervises the food bank in Sparkhill, says people who visit the banks often have more problems than food scarcity - just like Sohail.

He said: “The food is just a short term sticking plaster for a deeper crisis someone is in. We try to help them long term out of that crisis.

“We do have a few staff, but mostly it’s volunteers. As well as giving food packages they will also ask a few questions to see what the problem is, because if it’s debts our charity also has money advice.

“If they need a job, the charity also has a job club funded through European Social Fund to get people into work. Or if they need housing, because so many housing associations are referral agents, and could then recommend them to an agency to help find accommodation.

“It’s a real community effort. We give people a cup of tea and a biscuit. We’re somewhere to turn when things are bad.

“Foodbanks are about more than just the food we provide.”

For some of us regulars on this forum , the above article resonates with what we see at street level on our manors.

Others may be scratching their heads just wondering which foreign country this article relates to.

If so , consider yourself fortunate !
393 posts