“Today people across the UK will struggle to feed themselves and their families. Redundancy, illness, benefit delay, domestic violence, debt, family breakdown and paying for the additional costs of heating during winter are just some of the reasons why people go hungry.” – The Trussell Trust
This is what our tiny food warehouse looks like:
Every week we get lists of requests for emergency food boxes and, make no mistake, they go to people from all walks of life here in the UK. With stagnant wages and the rising cost of living, any one of us could find ourselves unable to make ends meet.
The food bank is very specific about what they put in the food boxes and here is a list of the items that we use to fill family and individual boxes:
I don’t know how food banks in the U.S. operate, but in my area of the U.K., we use the above designated items and only some “extras”. The food items that we seem to be in short supply of are: Milk (UHT); instant mashed potatoes; sugar; tea; coffee; juice. Cereals are most appreciated but it’s helpful if they’re bags of cereal and not boxes.
Food items that we can’t use in food boxes go to the local homeless shelter as they run a soup kitchen for those sleeping rough or for residents of the shelter.
Working at the food bank is fascinating and there’s a real feeling of camaraderie in that cold garage. It’s run by a Catholic nun and a Methodist minister. Sister Simone is the most lovely and gentle woman who wouldn’t say BOO to a goose. Our Methodist David, on the other hand, is a bit more firey. He loves to remind us of what a radical Jesus was and how he rocked the establishment. (PREACH IT BROTHER!)
In the meantime, we can all look forward to David Cameron’s vision “permanent austerity” which means that there will be an even bigger demand for our food bank. (One of the few growth industries here in the U.K.)