Can you help tackle 'hopelessness of hunger'?
AN URGENT appeal has been launched for emergency food supplies to help what has been called the 'hopelessness of hunger'.
Staple Hill councillor Ian Boulton says the Emergency Food Cupboard at Staple Hill Community Hub is vital to help local people who are struggling to afford basic food items.
Many residents can't afford transport to visit food banks and their limited opening hours can mean people have to go without food.
Cllr Boulton said: “It is a sign of the times that we see increasing numbers of local residents who are in genuine hardship for a range of reasons, though most often as a result of problems with the current benefit system.
“Our local foodbanks do an amazing job in providing essential support however they have limited opening hours and are not always easily accessible if you have no money for transport. Sadly we were becoming aware of too many residents who were unable to easily and quickly redeem their foodbank vouchers to access essential groceries.”
Cllr Boulton said the Emergency Food Cupboard cuts through red tape to enable people in need to access food supplies as quickly as possible.
He said: “Unlike food banks, we do not need users of the Emergency Food Cupboard to be referred to us through the usual agents such as schools, health centres, social services or housing officers.
“However as this scheme is for genuine crisis situations we do get agencies that are able to issue food bank vouchers asking us to provide immediate help to residents who are at genuine risk of going hungry.
“The generosity of local residents who support us is overwhelming however it only takes a few families to need our help and we can become desperately short of supplies. Occasionally we have to use other funds to top up the stocks.
“Any donations of food are gratefully received. We do not have any refrigeration facilities and so we can only accept long life and canned foods. We are usually in most need of main meal items such as tins of meat or fish. We also often need toiletries and sanitary products.
“If you would like to help local residents avoid the hopelessness of hunger by donating items for our Emergency Food Cupboard please call the Staple Hill Community Hub on 01454 868374. They will be able to advise what items are in stock and arrange a time for delivery.”