“Mum, in school there’s a table with loads of food on people are taking in, can I take some in please?”
“Oh, is it harvest festival time already? Ok then sure!”
I learnt as I met my sister for the school run, that it was a collection for local food banks. I withdrew my offer and told Olivia she could take the bag of food for the harvest festival and it would remain in the bag until that time.
Now, I know you may think me mean but I have my reasons.
I’m not big on politics and although I know the country is still coming out of a recession, I know how it’s affected me and admittedly im very naive and mainly in the dark about a lot of things .
What I am aware of is that in 2013 Food Banks are on the rise. For me I think it is such a good idea and in the past could of something which would of helped me out a lot. One time, whilst on benefits for a short period of time, I had no money and no food in the cupboard and nothing to give my daughter for dinner and it was then that I had to make the most degrading phone call of my life so far. I rang the line for a crisis loan and explained my situation. The woman on the other end asked me too look in my cupboards and tell her what I actually had in and then TOLD me that it was perfectly acceptable to be expected to survive for the rest of the week with little bit of food I had left ie beans on toast and weetabix. Also that if I got cold go to someone else’s house so as not to use my own gas! Oh how I was disgusted, angry and so upset I just slammed the phone down. For me at this point, I really could of done with the use of a food bank.
I think they are an excellent idea as there is I can imagine, a huge demand as people struggle to meet the bills and make that hard decision of either buying food or having the heating on. I’ve been there and it’s a heartbreaking decision especially having children to think about. In fact I’m currently sat here freezing as I can’t afford to put the heating on today, saving it for when Olivia is home!
People are having to make these kind of decisions all the time every day, and most of us work for a living which makes it even more of a kick in the teeth!
I can see what would a difference this would make to so many people and I genuinely would love to help them out, even tho I’m not far from situation myself, but like everything there are those people who abuse what is put in place to help us out in times of need.
Having spoke to people and recently read some disturbing things about our local food bank I have chosen not to help out. People have reported, although I don’t know it to bee 100% true, that some people claiming to need the help of the food bank actually have a better standard of life than most. There has been an article written that a food parcel was delivered to a family in need only to find that they had all the latest Ipads, smart tvs, mobile phones etc. This is wrong! This service is run by volunteers, with items donated out of goodwill, for people who genuinely need it, not to be abused by people who choose to spend their money on material possessions that most of us can only dream of owning.
I am aware that these people are a minority and as sad as it is it has put me off wanting to help out this good cause.