It’s easy to forget why foodbanks exist, so here’s a reminder of why we do what we do.
At Southend Foodbank we seek to help people in food crisis by giving them a food parcel equivalent to three days’ worth of food when they are no longer able to buy the food they need for themselves and/or their families. Food poverty can happen for a whole range of reasons such as low income, illness, benefit delays, redundancy, or a large unexpected bill.
Our guests are referred to us by our partner organisations in the community that hold vouchers and are trained in distributing them. For example, a person attending a debt management appointment (at one of the organisations that provide this) might be issued with a voucher as part of this process if they have no immediate access to funds or food. The reason we work in partnership with the community is to ensure that our guests are receiving as much assistance as they possibly can to improve their circumstances long term.
The most recent C.P.A.G. report on living standards in the UK states ‘Life has been getting progressively tougher for families on low or modest incomes over the past ten years, with families on in-work and out-of-work benefits hardest hit.’ It comes as no surprise that more people find it hard to make their wages go as far as they need to.
There is an underlying assumption in society today that many people on low incomes wouldn’t be so poor if they got their ‘act together’, used their money more ‘wisely’ and stopped expecting others to sort out the consequences of their ‘bad’ decisions. This is a narrative of the ‘undeserving poor’ and as a Christian based organisation we seek not judge people this way.
We thank you for your continued support of Southend Foodbank.
Cass Francis, Administrator