Despite our welfare system, and society safeguards, people still go hungry in the UK, and across the rich world, as a result of debt, sickness, job loss, relationship breakdown, addiction, mental health problems or delays in receiving state benefit.
Food banks collect donated food and then redistribute it to those in need, usually via some form of referral system from professional welfare agencies. The idea is that food banks aim to support people for the short time until the system ‘catches up with their problems’ – serving those who fall through the cracks.
In the UK the number of food banks have increased dramatically in recent years, with the charity The Trussell Trust, providing a standard model and advice for those wishing to set-up a foodbank. The effects of the economic downturn have caused a significant rise in the number of people in need of support in the UK, and more than one new food bank was opened every week during 2011.
If you’re interested in doing something to help combat poverty in your local area consider volunteering to help at a foot bank, or simply donate – either financially or food. If you don’t have a local food bank, then perhaps you might want to work with others to help set one up ?
Photo from Cardiff Food Bank
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