13 Nov More than just food
There was so much in the press last week about the increased demand for foodbanks, I decided to contact our local one and see if we could help…
The increased demand reported in the press has been attributed to the roll out of Universal Credit across the UK meaning lengthy delays in families receiving their benefit income. Whilst it hasn’t been rolled out to Fareham Borough yet there are still many families who really need that helping hand.
Speaking to Phil Rutt who runs the Fareham Basics Bank was eye opening. He showed me round the stock rooms and introduced me to some of the volunteers who keep the bank running. Donated food is sorted in to types and organised by best before dates, all kept on racks before being displayed in the visitor area.
He explained that a visit to the foodbank is typically a one off for most visitors, just to get them over a rough patch. To get a voucher is not that difficult, many support organisations such as CAB, JobCentre and doctors surgeries can issue a voucher if they can see a need. The hardest part for most, Phil told me, is admitting that they need the help in the first place. It’s no easy thing to admit that you cannot afford to feed your family.
On presentation of a voucher the bank will endeavour to provide a week’s supplies from its store, and whilst it’s called a ‘Foodbank’ there are many non-food items that are urgently needed such as deodorant, wet wipes, shampoo and loo rolls.
The Fareham Basics Bank is run by Friends of the Homeless in Fareham & Gosport, an independent Christian charity. They have provided help to over 3,200 people in the last twelve months.
Could you help and spare a few groceries for a family in need? Perhaps just pop an extra tin of beans in your basket or tomatoes in your trolley?
We will be accepting donations at our office in Middle Road throughout November and December and will be a collection point for the Reverse Advent Calendar on Saturday 23rd December, more on that another time.
If you’d like more information on Fareham & Gosport Basics visit: www.friendsofthehomeless.org.uk
Jane Earley MARLA MNAEA