Hi all and sorry for long but important post
Just two weeks ago, The Basic Idea had a week with 17 referrals (10 more than the average week in 2016); we hope this was a blip, but as you can see the shelves have taken quite a hammering.
Can we ask that all our very generous and regular supporters, make an even bigger effort to focus on the items of which we are desperately short, and if asked by others let them know too.
Tinned Carrots, Garden Peas, Sweetcorn and Green Beans
Tinned Bolognaise, Chili, Mild Curry and Meatballs
Packets of Rice, Sponge Puddings, Fruit Cocktail and Rice Pudding
We cannot store and do not need any more Baked Beans / Tinned Fish / Tinned Soup / Packets of Pasta
Just a few weeks ago, the Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan) found that there were now in excess of 2000 food-banks operating across the UK – whether we like it or not in most towns and cities across our nation, food-banks are a simple fact of life; the norm not the exception.
Over last year in Belper and surrounding area, the most frequent reason for requiring help was benefit delay accounting for 22% of referrals – this increased to 30% for all benefit related referrals last year. Debt accounted for a further 20% with the next biggest being 19% of referrals due to families struggling on low incomes.
Our experience is telling us that as much as half of the food-bank use in Belper and the surrounding villages could be avoided by a fairer and more functional welfare system, as well as the eradication of the tyranny of low pay that does not afford even the most frugal of families the ability to pay the bills, and feed and clothe themselves, never mind having a little left over with which to make the most basic of choices. On top of that, just yesterday, in the case of lone parents with children under two, the courts have judged the benefit cap, that was brought in some time ago, to be illegal.
The Basic Idea food-bank will be required for as long as unjust structures in society are the accepted bi-product of discriminatory social and economic policy in this country. The hung parliament will mean that the current government will be under even greater scrutiny than before and will seek greater cross party consensus as it brings forward measures effecting social policy.
Please keep informed and hold government and opposition alike to account, during what many commentators are predicting to be a very difficult economic and political period.
The Basic Idea Team thanks you again for your vital support at this time – form a voluntary point of view, the second 10 years are always the hardest.
Gareth Greenwood – Chair of Hope for Belper