This video says about itself:
March 27, 2013
In the last 12 months, there’s been a dramatic rise in people using food banks in Wales. George Zielinski reports on the issue for Cardiff Journalism School.
By Bernadette Horton in Wales:
Food is not the only need at foodbanks
Monday 05 August 2013
Our local foodbank in north Wales is run by a very small group of people from a church base.
The volunteers are in work themselves so fit the foodbank hours around their work commitments, delivering food to the homes of those who have been referred to them during the evening and at weekends.
However, what is becoming increasingly apparent is that on arrival, they discover that food is only the tip of the iceberg of need.
Sometimes when volunteers arrive, people simply want someone to listen to them, someone to give them a hug and reassurance that their lives can change for the better. Someone to listen to the harrowing stories of how they came to need a referral to the foodbank.
And sometimes it is that need of warmth that another human being does actually care about their plight and will do all they can to help.
Volunteers often find themselves in homes where there are extreme circumstances, and may themselves need counselling once they have helped the client.
Often there is lack of basic education among poor people who have never received the opportunities to cook a meal from scratch.
Volunteers are turning up on doorsteps with tinned potatoes, tinned pies, tinned vegetables, tinned fruit, long-life milk and so on.
Some have recounted how they have arrived at people’s homes with pasta, pasta sauce, fresh meat and fresh vegetables, yet the people have sadly lacked the skills to cook the ingredients, unless they were tinned or pre-made. There is a huge need in schools and in the wider community to teach people basic cooking skills to survive.
Our foodbank is hoping to expand so it can offer this help directly to those in need through its volunteers.
It does not want to stop at cooking skills but wants to impart knowledge on DIY skills and childcare support too.
Many of the foodbank clients have been in care, have had poor or no parental support and would like to develop their independence.
Yet sinisterly the government is not supporting independent foodbanks at all.
We have no direct funding or support from any supermarket and rely on the local communities in north Wales to donate the much-needed supplies, covering an area close to 30 square miles.
Our foodbank does have the funds to expand and has put in planning permission for a new building close to the church.
It is surrounded by large businesses and is not in a residential area. Yet planning permission has been refused.
The local Jobcentre recently said it could not continue to refer people in need to the foodbank as it was not part of the Trussell Trust Group.
After being challenged, it has now agreed to restore referrals as the nearest Trussell Trust foodbank is 25 miles away.
Cases of people walking miles to foodbanks are common – cases of people who have been cast into society with no support and assistance when they have complex needs are growing daily.
David Cameron‘s “big society” – the volunteers who are replacing social services for free – is also growing daily.
This is Britain in 2013, a country where the poor have no value to the rich or society, a place where people are in need of the most basic of life’s needs – food.
Wales sees massive increase in ‘hidden hungry’, as food aid hand outs double in a year: here.
- Waterloo Foodbank – donations needed (boroughbelleswi.wordpress.com)
- Foodbanks: Hunger, Shopping and Politics in Leeds North West (leedsnwclp.wordpress.com)
- One-in-five in Coventry are living below the breadline (coventrytelegraph.net)
- New Doncaster food bank seeks donations (thestar.co.uk)
- Harlow FoodBank (harlow5aid.wordpress.com)
- Hard-up families struggling to feed children in school holidays (schoolsimprovement.net)
- What price a lack of common sense? (ianchisnall.wordpress.com)
- Tesco director says increasing food poverty is ‘hitting families hard’ as Hartlepool foodbank appeals for more donations (hartlepoolmail.co.uk)