Yesterday I saw a post that our local food bank was making an appeal for donations as stocks are running very low due to increase requests for help.
Usually when I go shopping, I always buy extra to donate and drop off at local collection point. It’s just something I have done for the last couple of years as a way of regularly giving back to those in need.
It was clear from the post that they urgently needed more supplies. I figured that it couldn’t wait until my next food shop for me to be able to contribute, so decided to raid my cupboards for items. I managed to put together a large bag of items to donate.
This morning I took the bag down to the local Food Bank who were very grateful to receive the items. I was shown around, and I could see for myself how bare the shelves were.
When I asked why they have faced increase numbers asking for help, I was told that the recent changes in benefits to universal tax credits has had a huge impact on many people. People are having to wait several weeks for their claims to be processed and backdated. That’s at least six weeks without any money coming in to pay the bills or to feed the family.
Some folk are trapped in low earning jobs or irregular jobs that vary in payment made. They struggle to progress further in finding better paid jobs as simply do not have the means or funding to do the training that would enable them to do this.
Some people end up needing help due to unfortunate circumstances. One such person was someone who had recently started a new job and then was injured in an accident. Wasn’t able to claim sick pay and lost his job.
What struck me was how easily that person could be you or I if we had a change in our circumstances.
How many of us overspend in the shops, buying too much stuff and sometimes throwing stuff away? What if instead of cramming our cupboards full, we reduce it by sharing with others in need? Think just how much of an impact we could have in changing the lives of those around us by regularly giving to ensure that they aren’t having to worry about where their next meal is coming from, or having to make a choice between paying to keep a roof over the heads or feed their children?
I challenge you to open your cupboards, fill a bag of goods, take it to your nearest food bank and not be moved when you hear the stories of why people have to swallow their pride and ask for help to feed their families.