LET’S GET TOGETHER AND DO SOMETHING DECENT FOR THOSE LESS PRIVILEGED THAN OURSELVES…
In the positive spirit of the New Year, Average Joe’s will be collecting food on behalf of the Gateshead Foodbank over the next few weeks. We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry, which is why we are rallying the troops to support local families who have found themselves in crisis during these dark Winter months.
ABOUT GATESHEAD FOODBANK
The foodbank is a project founded by local churches and community groups, working together towards stopping hunger in our local area. Everyday people in Gateshead go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy, to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. A simple box of food makes a big difference, helping prevent crime, housing loss, family breakdown and mental health problems.
FOOD IS DONATED
Schools, churches, businesses and individuals donate non-perishable, in-date food to the foodbank. Large collections often take place as part of Harvest Festival celebrations and food is also collected at supermarkets.
FOOD IS SORTED AND STORED
Volunteers sort food to check that it’s in date and pack it into boxes ready to be given to people in need. Over 40,000 people give up their time to volunteer at foodbanks across the UK.
PROFESSIONALS IDENTIFY PEOPLE IN NEED
Foodbanks partner with a wide range of care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers and police to identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher.
CLIENTS RECEIVE FOOD
Foodbank clients bring their voucher to a foodbank centre where it can be redeemed for three days’ emergency food. Volunteers meet clients over a warm drink or free hot meal and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problem.
REAL STORIES – RACHEL
Having always worked and never claimed benefits, Holly, 29, from Chichester was bringing up her four-year-old daughter, Phoebe alone. She was determined to give her the best possible start in life, but when Phoebe suddenly fell ill, Holly was forced to turn to a foodbank for help.
The council flat that Holly was living in was in a deprived area with drug dealing and dog fouling taking place in the corridor outside her door. Holly was adamant that her daughter should have a better environment to grow up in and was offered alternative accommodation near her parents but at double the cost. As well as borrowing money from her parents to meet the cost, Holly was working part time. At the same time, she had been selling second-hand clothes online and the shop she was working in noticed its success and offered her a space selling clothes in their shop.
Under normal circumstances, Holly could just about scrape by, but when her daughter became poorly and had to spend three weeks in hospital, she was forced to close the shop temporarily. When Phoebe recovered, they returned home to empty kitchen cupboards, bills racking up and no income to support them.
Holly felt unable to ask her family for help again and after discussions with the local Citizens Advice Bureau she was referred to the foodbank.
Holly said: “The people at the foodbank were wonderful, they understood and saved us.”
Although Holly’s situation is still precarious, knowing the foodbank is there in an emergency is a huge weight off her shoulders.