DID you know that every four days a new food bank opens in the UK to help families in crisis?
Food poverty is no longer a developing world crisis as people in the UK are going hungry every day.
We did some research at Netmums last month and uncovered the shocking fact that one in five mums are skipping meals in order to feed their children.
With all the pomp and ceremony expected for the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics this year the sad fact that people are going hungry makes the UK seem like we’re back in Dickensian times.
We’ve just listed every food bank we can find on all the local Netmums sites and are urging everyone to support their local ones – just a packet of pasta or tin of beans with your local food shopping will make all the difference to your local food bank and local people in crisis.
Some areas have food banks being set up as we speak, some have a couple, some have none.
In Hillingdon we have a very active food bank that was established in 2009 by local churches in association with the Trussell Trust – a network of national community food banks.
The Hillingdon Foodbank opens its doors every day of the week from three different locations including St Anslem’s Church in Hayes, St Margaret’s in Uxbridge and the Kingsborough Centre also in Uxbridge.
People in need are issued with a voucher from support professionals such as doctors, health visitors and social workers and their voucher is redeemable at the Hillingdon Foodbank closest to them in exchange for seven to 10 days worth of meals.
I spoke to Zoe at Hillingdon Foodbank, who said that they’ve seen so many more families looking for help and that Christmas was especially busy.
She said that donations can be dropped off at all three locations across Hillingdon and they really are grateful for any dry non-perishable produce local people can spare.
I’m ashamed to admit to being a hoarder and, shamefully, food in my house occasionally goes out of date before I can use it.
If it’s not green I’ll still use it but that’s no excuse. It gave me great pleasure to have a huge clear out of my kitchen cupboards – do I really need four packs of spaghetti, three jars of coffee and five cans of soup?
I managed to have a good old sort out and fill four big carrier bags of goodies and Alex and I dropped them in to the Hillingdon food bank head office at the Kingsborough Centre on Waterloo Road.
Alex helped me sort out items for the food bank and it’s a valuable lesson for him to know that not everyone is as lucky as he is.
Zoe at Hillingdon Foodbank was delighted to get a donation and I’ve promised to order extra things on my weekly internet shop for them. Donating to your local foodbank is part of a new campaign by Netmums called United Kindmums – a year of action to encourage mums to make small changes to their lives to make bigger changes to others.
My visit to Hillingdon Foodbank will be just the start for me, and I hope there will be others who will join me along the way.