Food For Thought
As most of you are aware I am a huge advocate for foodbanks and I think it’s highly important that food poverty is something that needs to be spoken about more. When you think of people starving your mind will generate images of people starving in third world countries. What people don’t often know is that food poverty is right under their noses. It is in your city, and local people are skipping meals because they cannot afford to feed themselves and their families. If you’re of the mindset that addicts and people on benefits are the only people using foodbanks then you’d be wrong. Hardship comes in many ways, people may well be ill and in need of some food because their treatment has forced them to take time off work, people are made redundant meaning they no longer have a wage to buy food with, there are 100’s of reasons why someone needs aid from a foodbank.
Local supermarkets have collection points and/or people from foodbanks collecting donated goods. But what about those who want to donate that don’t have the time? Well, that’s where my #foodbankmovement comes in. For the last 3 weeks I have been bombarding people with calls for food and cash donations to help collect for my local foodbank.
In the three weeks I was collecting people kindly donated £734.19 in cash, all of which I used to buy stock for the foodbank, and on top of that local people were going out of their way to make their own food parcels and drop them at my house to add to the ever increasing pile of food that was taking over my living room. The more food that was dropped off and the more money that was donated made it evident that there was no way I was going to be able to take this in the car. I decided that we’d have to hire a van (costs incurred by me, not from funds donated) to deliver it all, so that’s what we did. Just look at what you did!
We arrived at Noah’s Ark Centre in Speke with the shipment, and needless to say they were gobsmacked! They couldn’t believe the amount of food that was there. It was so lovely to see Paul and Paula both there again this year they were the same two I delivered last years delivery too.
It took 5 of us 10 minutes to empty the van of all it’s contents! Once unloaded we piled it in the distribution corner and as you can see it was everywhere, you couldn’t move on the floor or even sit on the couch.
From your donated monies I purchased non perishable goods such as cupboard staples like beans, pastas, rices, soups etc…. As well as goodies for Christmas like selection boxes, tubes of sweets, boxes of biscuits etc…. I also picked up tubes of toothpastes and brushes, deodorants, sanitary towels, washing powders, fabric softners, shampoos, soaps and baby wipes. Although not food they are a essential to living and will often take a chunk of someone’s budget.
Whist dropping food off there were some bags of food waiting to be collected, I was told that the gentlemen had been referred by his doctor. It made me cry to think that people are going hungry because they cannot afford the basic human right of eating.
Another referral had come in while I was there for a mother on a low income with 4 children, again, it made me cry. How we live in a world where people rely on handouts to feed themselves? It makes me angry and very sad to think that people in power totally overlook food poverty, like it isn’t really happening, like maybe if they don’t acknowledge it, it will go away. Yes, David Cameron, I’m looking at you. But sadly we do live in that world, but on the up side, there are hundreds of people that won’t let that happen.
I would just like to say a massive thank you to everybody who took the time to collect a food parcel and deliver it to my house, those who donated money which enabled me to shop on your behalf, those who were inspired to drop food at your local foodbank and those who helped raise awareness of a growing use of foodbanks. The list is too long to thank you all individually, but you know who you are. My heart is filled with love for you guys.
Next time you’re in a supermarket and there’s a collection point for a foodbank pop something non perishable in the trolley for them. We can feed the world if we all do a little.
Same time next year.