I read an article on the Eastbourne Foodbank in the Eastbourne Herald last week. It was a very positive article, yet at the same time extremely depressing. The Foodbank opened a year ago in Bridgemere Road but has outgrown that premises and at the beginning of February moved into new premises at Cornfield Lane.
I couldn’t agree more with the project manager, Howard Wardle, who said: “In many ways it’s very sad that our services are in such demand but times are very tough for people and supplying an emergency pack of food is really the least we can do to help ease the situation.”
He explained how the Eastbourne Foodbank provides three days worth of food per household. It is entirely reliant on donations.
Since the Eastbourne Foodbank was opened, it has helped more than 1,200 individuals. Howard says he knows that there are many other people out there who do need their help.
Today (Shrove Tuesday) I read a tweet from someone from the Big Lottery who was at the opening of a foodbank in the Midlands. They commented that the turnout was great and the pancakes even better. Food banks seem to be emerging everywhere.
In Brighton and Hove, the City Mission provides food, very often to people who have had their benefits suspended and who would go without food without this essential service. It is a sign of our times, and a very sad one, that food banks are springing up all over the place.
I have just added the word ‘foodbank’ into my dictionary on my PC since it is a word I suspect we will all be using a great deal in the future, and a service that people living in poverty will depend on.