Framework thanks supporters for response to Food Crisis Appeal

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22 May 2014
by Hannah Payne

Framework has thanked its supporters for their “fantastic response” to a recent campaign to alleviate food poverty.

The Food Crisis Appeal, launched in Autumn 2013, aimed to provide emergency funding to provide a food allowance for people in financial crisis and up-to four tonnes in readily dispensable items.

Nationwide it is estimated that some 614,000 adults and children received donations from food banks in the first nine months of 2013/14 – compared to 350,000 for the whole of the previous year. Staff at Framework, meanwhile, report that up to 20 per cent of the people they support in the community are in food poverty.

As Framework reported at the time, a considerable number of the people in need had been adversely affected by changes to the benefits system and been left with no money to buy food of their own. What little money they did have spare was increasingly going on other basics like utility bills and rent.

Jon Leighton, Framework’s Operations Manager for Floating Support, said: “The response of the public was fantastic, with more than 50 local schools and churches making donations of food to their local services and more than £2,600 flowing in from donations.

“More and more people are now benefitting from that support in the community. My staff now know that if somebody is in food crisis that immediate and discrete help is available to clients whilst longer term solutions are found – often until issues with stopped and delayed benefit payments are resolved.

“In many cases, cash donations have enabled us to support a number of people for whom support from food banks just wasn’t possible. In some cases, understandably, there are restrictions on the amount of time any one person can use a food bank – regardless of how much they need to. I would like to thank everybody who contributed to this appeal.”

Charlotte*, 21, who struggles with anxiety, was struggling to feed herself as a result of the spare room subsidy, known by critics as “the bedroom tax”. She explained how the campaign helped her: “I had literally no money to buy food with. My flat has two bedrooms but, even though I only need one, I had to take it at the time as it was the only option. When the bedroom tax came in, the money that was there for food went on that. I was afraid of getting into debt and thought it would be better to go without food then not pay the bills.

“It was horrible, it was something I couldn’t control and I felt trapped. I didn’t want to ask for help as I felt like it was silly and didn’t understand how I couldn’t afford to eat. I think I felt quite embarrassed about it too. Eventually I spoke to my nurse Michelle about it and she got in touch with Karen at Framework straight away. Karen said that we could sort it out; she comforted me and helped me to get a parcel of food that day”

*Charlotte wished to remain anonymous and as such her name has been changed

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