FOOD / ENERGY / CLOTHING BANKS : Trussells & Related News / Guidance / 100,000+ Carers Reported As Needing Them In 2017

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
201 posts
As the winter fast approaches , a brief reminder of the " Energy Help " available through some of the Trussell food banks :
How does it work?

Volunteers sit with a client while their food package is prepared and discuss the support they might need. If they mention problems with fuel debt and are struggling to pay bills, they may be in need of help to solve these issues.

The topics covered include…

Energy efficiency tips and information
How to read an energy bill
How to read your meters
Where to look if you want to switch supplier
How to apply for grants to alleviate fuel debt or receive energy efficient white goods

Give Trussells and others in the food bank sector credit ... they are on the ground and in the frontline as the grip of Austerity becomes even tighter.

Only Shelter are worthy of mention in the same breathe.
Straight of the Trussells front page ... a CHILLING reminder for all readers to ponder on :

Foodbanks offer a lifeline to those who find themselves in crisis.

Facing Christmas with little or no money and struggling to make ends meet can be the reality for many. Unable to afford food to make a decent hot meal, let alone presents, is a very daunting time for too many. This Christmas some will find it hard to make ends meet, struggle to pay bills, and have to decide between eating and warming a room in the house. It can be a difficult time, with the prospect of delicious treats and luxurious presents out of the question.

Sadly, this is the reality for many and this is why we need your help. It is our mission to help to transform the prospects of people who are living in hardship. We are asking for your help so that our network of foodbanks can support those struggling the most this Christmas.

A staggering fourteen million people live in poverty* in the UK. This time of year puts even more demands on finances. With cupboards almost bare, many will be faced with rationing the last of their food supplies over the festive period. With nothing left to pay for even the essential groceries, a modest Christmas dinner is out of the question, leaving no choice but to make up a meal from the basics they have left. Yes, something like beans on toast may be tasty, nutritious and affordable, and can even be a little treat when you don’t want to cook a big meal, but it’s hardly a Christmas dinner you’d want to remember.

We need your help to continue providing support to our foodbanks this Christmas. We know that providing three-days emergency food supplies and some additional treats will not make someone’s Christmas, but it will provide them with something to eat, and remind them that they are not alone or forgotten.

Unfortunately this year brings added concern with the roll out of Universal Credit. Latest statistics show that the situation is worsening by its impact. Our mid-year stats, which were released just this month, show that foodbanks in areas of full rollout for six months or more have seen a 30% average increase. These figures are concerning, especially as in the months leading up to Christmas we will see the number of foodbanks in areas of full Universal Credit service triple.

Furthermore, our figures show that from April to September this year there was an increase of 13% in the number of food parcels given out compared to the same period last year, where the increase was 3%. This, along with the accelerating rollout of Universal Credit, means that the Foodbank Network is on course to distribute a record number of food parcels in 2017-18 by some margin.

We need your help to continue providing support to foodbanks this Christmas. We know that providing three-days emergency food supplies and some additional treats will not make someone’s Christmas, but it will provide them with something to eat, and remind them that they are not alone or forgotten. Help us by giving today, your donation makes a difference.

One article to read over and over again until the real message sinks in.

2018 ... how many more ... perhaps even you ???
Ground Zero ... London ... article from the Independent : ... 9776.html.

Help a Hungry Child: One in 10 London families relying on food banks to survive, reveals research.

Emma Lewell-Buck MP says 'I can’t understand why anybody would ever want to be in charge of the country to then preside over millions of people going hungry'

One in 10 London families are relying on charity handouts to eat and food banks are facing unprecedented strain in the run-up to Christmas, new figures reveal.

One in four London parents worry about being able to afford to feed their children, the research found, while almost one in five have to choose between heating their homes or feeding their family.

The exclusive poll, conducted by Kellogg’s to mark the start of The Independent and Evening Standard Help a Hungry Child campaign, exposed the devastating choices facing parents around the country as food banks struggle to keep up with growing demand.

At least 146,798 three-day emergency parcels were handed out by Trussell Trust foodbanks in December 2016, a 47 per cent spike compared to the average for the overall 2016/17 financial year, according to the charity. Children accounted for 61,093 of those affected.

Now the charity is warning 2017 could herald an even higher increase, following a 13 per cent surge in food bank usage during the first six months of this year.

The figures are revealed as a Labour MP urges the Government to accurately measure the number of people going hungry with a food insecurity bill.

Emma Lewell-Buck, a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger, will present the cost-neutral bill to the Commons on Wednesday. It will ask the Government to incorporate questions about how often people go without food into national surveys.

She called rising food bank usage a “massive dereliction of state duty” and is urging Theresa May to take urgent action to recognise the scale of the problem.

“They have to admit what everybody already knows that the levels of hunger are far higher than we have realised,” she said.

“It is the duty of the state, there is no way food banks should have filled the gap left by the welfare state that this Government has created.”

She added: “Now food banks are becoming a pillar of the welfare state and they should not be and they should never have been.”

The South Shields MP said getting a measure on the true scale of the numbers going hungry would force the Government into taking a more proactive stance in tackling hunger.

“The mark of a country should not be the amount of people going hungry. This should not be happening in the UK, parents should not be having to skip meals to feed their children,” Ms Lewell-Buck said.

“It gets me so angry that the Government keep ignoring it, I can’t understand why anybody would ever want to be in charge of the country to then preside over millions of people going hungry.”

She added: “Fundamentally, this is the duty of the Government, this is their mess, they need to own up to it, apologise and sort it out.”

The research also found just under one in 10 London families said they wished they could give their children “more food”, while one-third of the parents questioned said they were unable to provide their children with food they believed would be healthier for them.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said they did not recognise The Independent’s figures, adding: “We’re helping millions of families meet the everyday cost of living and keep more of what they earn.

“We’ve doubled free childcare to help parents into work, and continue to spend around £90bn a year supporting people who need it, including those who are out of work or on a low income.

“Work is the best means of providing people with financial security, and with our welfare reforms people are moving into employment faster and staying there longer than under the old system.”

The figures come as The Independent partners with The Felix Project for its Christmas appeal.

The food waste charity has already been working since 2016 to redistribute surplus in-date produce from more than 80 suppliers to charities.

The scheme will have children’s futures at its heart, helping to remove the barriers created by poor nutrition.

Every £1 donated will ensure a primary school child and their family has the food needed for a nutritious meal. £500 will enable a new school to be recruited to the programme.

YouGov surveyed 924 parents of children aged 18 or under on behalf of Kellogg’s in November.

2018 ... a year to already forget about even before it starts ???

What does it take for the Government to protect it's most vunerable citizens from both economic and social meltdowns ?

Work ?

Fine ... how about the millions who cannot work through age and / or illness ... and the carers for these citizens ?
This one will come as no great surprise ? ... n-says-mp.

Universal credit helpline closure could hit poorest over Xmas, says MP,

Labour’s Frank Field says ‘chaos’ could leave some without money for food, lighting and heating,

Some universal credit claimants are at risk of destitution over Christmas because a vital helpline will only be fully operational for two out of 10 days over the holiday, an MP has warned.

Labour MP Frank Field, chair of the Commons work and pensions committee, has urged the government to keep the universal credit helpline open during the Christmas break for claimants at risk of spending the festive season without money.

From 23 December to 1 January, job centre offices and the Universal Credit helpline are only fully operational on 28 and 29 December in England, Wales and Scotland. The helpline will open on 27 December in Scotland to to deal with payment enquiries from claimants from all nations.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it was normal for services to close at the weekend and during bank holidays, and said millions of universal credit payments would be brought forward in time for the Christmas break.

In a letter to Theresa May, Field wrote: “Any of my constituents making a claim for universal credit this week are due, if the system works as planned, to receive their first payment a few days either side of Christmas. However, if a problem arrises or an error is made during the process of their claim, that money will not arrive and my constituents will be without an income over Christmas. For my poorest constituents this could trigger a period without food, heat or light.”

“Usually it is the universal credit helpline that provides a vital layer of protection to those claimants who are without money and wish to enquire about the status of their claim so it can be resolved and money paid,” it continued.

“The thought of the chaos this will cause to the lives of some of my poorest constituents, and those across the country, is a hugely troubling one,” the letter read.

The universal credit system combines six benefits into one online-only system, aiming to simplify the benefits system and increase incentives for people to work.

The new system has suffered from problems with delays and implementation, pushing some claimants into rent arrears, food bank use and mental distress.

A DWP spokesperson said: “Just like organisations across the country, our offices are closed on public holidays but every year we bring forward over 20m payments worth more than £4bn to benefit claimants.

“Phone lines are open on 27 December to help people with any urgent payment-related enquiries, and open as usual every other day around the Christmas period.”

Not unexpected but ... ?

Even at this early stage , worth checking with the local food bank when they are open over the so called festive season.

In most , facility to top up a prepayment meter ... virtually as vital as food given the shutdown.

Even home delivery of a food bank parcel now available in a few !

Some will still be open on all days but , I suspect , they will be the exception ?

Somewhat ironic ... most carers needing this information do not have Internet access !!!!!!

As for our own Advice Line , assuming UC hotline is unavailable ... ???
27th December 2017 is NOT a bank holiday
The government says so
even if the DWP in the above article says it is. They are fudging the issue that a major public service is closed on a normal working day
Ground zero ... Barrow-in-Furness ... numerous articles around , B-i-F won : ... 34a749-ds.

Christmas appeal from Barrow Foodbank to give struggling families a festive treat.

BARROW Foodbank will be distributing Christmas hampers throughout December to give struggling families and people a festive treat.

The charity is collecting donations of traditional yuletide food treats and new Christmas gifts for children up to the age of 16, while also accepting its usual everyday food donations.

The Christmas hampers and children's gifts will be given in addition to the normal three-day emergency food packages that those in need receive.

Throughout today, tomorrow and the weekend, the Barrow Foodbank team are in Tesco stores accepting donated food items and Christmas gifts for the festive appeal.

The Barrow charity is expecting to a influx of people needing their help this Christmas.

Ann Mills, manager of Barrow Foodbank, said: "December will be a very busy period. Some people are in very desperate situations. The hampers are a Christmas treat and there are gifts for children. It is to help restore dignity and to help make Christmas a special time."

Barrow Foodbank, which helps low income families and people in need, expects that it will end up having to provide some 9,000 food packages throughout 2017.

Mrs Mills said the charity is starting to see the impact of the Universal Credit among the new claimants, and predicts things will get worse in the spring following the roll out of the new benefit system, which combines six benefits into one payment.

Mrs Mills said: "I think we will really start to feel the impact of the Universal Credit in June or July."

Foodbank Christmas shopping list

*mince pies *Christmas puddings and cakes *chocolate selection boxes *non perishable Christmas foods *tinned meats *Christmas crackers Foodbank store cupboard essentials

*breakfast cereals *soup *pasta *rice *pasta sauce/ tinned tomatoes *tinned beans *tinned meats/fish *tinned vegetables/fruit *Potatoes/ instant mash *tea and coffee *rice puddings/ sponge puddings *sugar * biscuits *UHT/ long life fruit juice *UHT milk full cream/ semi skimmed *snacks

Christmas Presents are also being collected for children under 16-years-old. These presents must be new. Food and presents can be donated at Barrow Foodbank or at Tesco stores.

Foodbank opening times

Barrow Foodbank, Abbey Road Baptist Church, Abbey Road (entrance on the corner of Park Drive), 01229 343436. Monday to Thursday 11am to 1pm, Friday 11am to 3pm.

Barrow Foodbank in Ulverston, Bethany Christian Church, Lightburn Road, Ulverston, 07542 112 976 (during foodbank hours) Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 11am to 1pm.

Barrow Foodbank in Millom, Crown Street Baptist Church Hall, Crown Street, Millom, 01229 774601 (during foodbank hours) Tuesday and Friday 11am to 1pm.

I counted 18 recent articles from around the UK in the past three days ... all with one thing in common.

Children ... Christmas presents ... donations welcomed.

Now , as a parent , what must it feel like to ( 1 ) need a food bank to put food on the table , and ( 2 ) not being able to provide the kids with something at Christmas ... possibly through no fault of your own ?

That thought I leave with readers to ponder on.
Aldi ... today's Independent : ... 88511.html

Aldi to give away all its unsold fresh food to 'less fortunate individuals' on Christmas Eve.

Chain plans to hand out unsold items to charities when it closes for festive period.

Aldi has offered to give all its unsold fresh food away to charities and good causes when its stores close on Christmas Eve.

The supermarket chain issued an appeal on social media urging organisations across the country to collect items left over after its branches have shut up shop for the festive period.

A statement issued by the firm says it wants to share products out with groups such as food banks in support of “less fortunate individuals” in order to “prevent food going to waste”.

The supermarket said: “Aldi is offering local organisations the opportunity to receive surplus food from their stores on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.

As Aldi stores will shut at 4pm on Christmas Eve until December 27, they will have a variety of good quality surplus food products that they will wish to redistribute in support of less fortunate individuals and to prevent food going to waste.

“Aldi is unable to deliver products so it would be essential that your organisation is able to collect.

“They will expect the level of food available to vary, however, estimations of around 20 to 30 crates will be expected from each store.”

The move has earned the store praise from social media users, who urged other big chains to match the gesture.

Rachel Bullock‏ tweeted: “Kudos to Aldi arranging for dispersal of unsold food on Christmas Eve to organisations helping those in need. Let's hope others follow suit. Well done.”

Paul Skillington added: “Fair play to Aldi for this one. Pity a few more household supermarket’s don’t follow suit. It ought to carry on throughout the year.”

One of Aldi’s competitors, Tesco, has handed out surplus food from its stores to local charities and community groups since February last year.

Not exactly a donation in the traditional sense ... fresh food would normally be consigned to a bin after the sell by date.

However , every donation helps ... I hope that others follow Aldi / Tesco in this gesture.

Inside some food banks , fresh food will be a novelty ?

One comment of interest to end ... a slight spanner in the works ?

Social media does not realise that Aldi is the latest and rather badly organised giver of food, and only at Christmas unlike all the other supermarkets who are doing this throughout the year.

Tesco has 'agreed a deal to donate all the unsold food from its stores to charity. It works with 5,000 local charities across the UK in an initiative that aims to eradicate all its food waste by the end of 2017. It said the plan followed a "farm to fork" commitment to tackle food waste by its suppliers.

Morrisson's makes unsold food that is still safe to eat available to charities across the UK and donates to local community organisations and local food banks. They come to the store and collect the food that would previously have been wasted during the week. This includes fresh fruit and vegetables as well as products such as tins and packets.

It follows a trial in over 100 stores in Yorkshire and the North East. It involves building a network of community organisations who can make use of the food.

Sainsbury’s leading the way, with 7.6 per cent of its surplus food donated to charities, followed by Tesco on 4.5 per cent and Waitrose and Asda on 3.3 per cent. Viewed through a different lens — the number of London stores that have forged food donation partnerships with charities — Sainsbury’s again sets the pace with a 57 per cent success rate, followed by Marks & Spencer on 50 per cent. Tesco’s ambitious roll-out plans will see sharp increases from its current base of 11 per cent.

So Aldi Is not doing anything special, suddenly wants to compete, tries to catch the headlines, the limelight, presents itself as the "charity giver" at Christmas but has not organised it properly unlike Sainsbury's, Tesco's and all the others.
Festive season ?

Christmas " Cards " of a different nature :




" Happy " Christmas to all readers viewing this thread ... I hope viewing as opposed to ... needing ???
Copy of my email to Trussells today :
Hi guys.

Food bank thread on the Carers UK forum continuing
.... now with 9,502 reads as I type.

Carers UK Thread : Food Banks

A couple for you :

Fuel ... anything happening on the oil / propane gas front ?

Computers ... vital for many family carers ... essential for most
UC claimants.

Many organisations provide free computers BUT ... monthly cost
of an Internet service provider ?

Tie in with any of the larger ones with a discount for food bank
users ???

Keep up the good work !

John Mann , my local mp : ... -1-8897620

Guest column: Food bank needs your help this Christmas.
The rollout of Universal Credit begins next week in Bassetlaw.

I have kept on calling for the rollout to be halted as it will affect local families over the Christmas period.

No-one wants a child to wake up on Christmas Day to no presents.

I have asked the minister in Parliament to come to Bassetlaw to see the effects of Universal Credit and the real pressure it will place on families at Christmas.

Last week, the British Toy and Hobby Association ran an event in Parliament ande donated a box of toys to Bassetlaw Food Bank.

I am grateful for the generosity because it will make a real difference on Christmas Day for some families.

This week the food bank is in need of tinned meat, gravy granules, jars of pasta sauce, stuffing, jam, dilute squash and children’s shampoo.

As well as these basic items, the food bank is encouraging you to donate seasonal foods such as mince pies or Christmas puddings.

If you are able to donate some items, please consider doing so.

The items can be donated at my office on Stanley Street in Worksop.

Last week in Parliament, a young campaigner called Zack Kerr visited to talk about his ambition to make toilets at service stations accessible for those with disabilities.

Zack has cerebral palsy and he has found that most service station toilets are not usable for him to change in.

This is also a problem faced by many thousands of disabled adults and children when they go out on trips to shops, visitor attractions and family outings, some of which are often curtailed due to the lack of suitable toilet facilities.

Zack’s online petition has been signed by more than 100,000 people.

I fully back his campaign and have signed the Early Day Motion in Parliament which calls on a Changing Places toilets to be installed at every service station in the UK.

This summer, the council opened a Changing Places toilet in Retford town centre following a campaign led by local mum, Alison Beevers.

Worksop residents can access a Changing Places toilet at the library.

But we need more in Bassetlaw and across the country.

Zack’s campaign has drawn national attention to such an important issue and I hope that in the near future we will have a Changing Places facility in every service station in the UK.

I applaud Zack for his hard work on this.

Hardy any activity in the high street over the past two days ... weather for next two / three days forecast to be pretty horrible.

Photo taken on Wednesday , 2.05 pm ... local rag :


All the signs are in place ... let it rollout.

Come January ?

Bleak ... and that's being optimistic !
201 posts