Families at the food bank
Over the past year, we have seen first-hand why local welfare schemes are so important for families. For many, they are a lifeline. The Government allocated £63 million to local councils to support struggling families. But this funding runs out very soon.
Churches and community groups are still handing out food and helping those in need. The Holy Trinity Church in Wrockwardine Wood shows us what proper support means to so many people.
Free means free
When people came to the Foodshare for the first time, most were quiet and reserved. Many felt overwhelmed when they realised the food was free and nothing was expected in return. It was difficult for them to ask.
People who had previously never been out of work were now in a position so alien to them. It was incredibly difficult. Food poverty was suddenly real for so many people.
We tried to be open, talk to each person. No judgement. Over time, many came out of their shells and enjoyed the few minutes of chat at the beginning of the day.
Lending a hand
There were so many just above the limit for lunch vouchers provided by the government. There were children who didn’t qualify for free school meals but had parents on furlough. These families were on reduced income but still had to pay all the bills and struggled to afford food.
We normally do a harvest collection in church for donations to the food bank, but this year local schools also got involved and collected on our behalf.
We collected enough food to make 150 three day food parcels containing everything from soups to something sweet. It was good to be able to offer these to those who came in, to help out those few times when money was short.
The response was phenomenal
More help needed
This past year has pushed many to their limit. Churches are doing all they can to support their communities. The work they do is inspiring. It is tireless. But they can’t do it alone. As the need for support continues to grow in communities across the country, how can they be expected to support everyone in need?
We need the government to step in and provide long-term funding for local crisis support. Sign the petition calling on government to provide long-term funding and strengthen the safety net for struggling families.