Things haven’t always been easy for me. I was a single mum and found myself in hard times when I was unexpectedly made redundant three years ago. While I didn’t resort to using a foodbank, things were very tight financially and that struggle has remained a painful memory. Because of this I have recently been actively supporting my local foodbank in Gateshead with donations. It is a sad fact that many families are forced to use community projects like this to get by due to cuts within the welfare system or through financial hardship. The film ‘I, Daniel Blake’ has also raised national awareness of the reality many in our region face daily.
The Newcastle West End Foodbank operates under a franchise agreement with The Trussell Trust to deliver emergency food parcels to those in need. This project feeds on average 1,000 people a week, half of which are children. With the continuing austerity measures implemented by the Government, this will likely remain the case for the foreseeable future. The initiative requires donations of financial support, time and food donations to continue the work they are doing with people who are facing hunger.
In 2015 foodbanks across the UK gave more than 500,000 emergency three-day food supplies to people in crisis. The Newcastle United Supporters Trust recently started to work alongside the foodbank and have been encouraging those attending home games to bring along donations to a drop off point set up outside the ground. The response was phenomenal but unfortunately the season is drawing to a close. In order to continue this important work a more permanent base has been set up in Newcastle’s historic Grainger Market.
This city centre location will function as a donation drop-off centre and an information point. Those wishing to help out the foodbank can donate the following needed items during the market’s opening hours:
· Pasta sauces
· Tea bags and jars of instant coffee
· Tinned Meat
· 500g rice and pasta
· Chopped Tomatoes
To find out more about what’s contained in a food parcel click here. Other drop off points can be found in local supermarkets, like Tesco in Kingston Park. Whether you’re picking up treats for the weekend or doing a weekly shop in the Grainger Market this week, try to pop by and make a contribution to the work that’s being carried out.
Thanks for reading,