Stoke-on-Trent Food Bank Support
Speedy Freight, the national sameday courier, has pledged a year of financial support to Stoke-on-Trent Food bank, becoming one of the charities, 21 for 2021.
Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank and its network of 16 church-based food distribution centres has worked hard to meet the needs of those in food poverty since it launched in 2012.
The team work with Money Matters and other local charities and organisations to provide those in need with advice and help to deal with the crisis that brought them to the foodbank. So that as well as food for today, they might be able to access a brighter and more secure future.
Damian Carter, Speedy Freight Stoke General Manager said: “Particularly as a result of the Pandemic, job losses have increased or people’ incomes have been reduced due to their hours being cut whilst lockdowns have been enforced, leaving thousands of people unable to afford the very basics. That’s why we have pledged regular support to help those in need. We also hope that once it is safe to do so, members of our team can offer their support by volunteering too.”
All people experiencing temporary food crisis, who are identified by front line professional organisations, are issued with an e-voucher which can be exchanged for a 3 day nutritionally balanced food parcel to feed themselves and their household.
According to the Trussel Trust, there was an 81% increase in emergency food parcels from foodbanks in its network during the last two weeks of March 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, including a 122% rise in parcels specifically for children. The coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated the challenges faced by those in poverty – making the year-long pledge even more crucial.
The negative impact the Covid-19 Pandemic has had a significant impact in Stoke-on-Trent, with those using Universal Credit to support low income doubled from January to December 2020.
As well as the number of families receiving support from Universal Credit increasing more than 50%, a disproportionate number of young adults’ employment has been impacted. In November 2020 (before even Lockdown 3.0) the Office of Budget Responsibility reported that unemployment will peak mid 2021 and a return to pre-pandemic levels not expected until 2025.
Corrine Boden, Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank, Operations Manager, ‘For us to know that we have secure financial income, such as this generous commitment from Speedy Freight, helps us to plan ahead to best meet the needs of the local people that we know will be experiencing food crisis, many for the first time, in 2021.’
Caroline Wolfe, Business and Community Liaison Officer, ‘We are delighted that Speedy Freight are joining us as one of our 21 for 2021 Businesses, committed to supporting local people through the ongoing social and economic upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which unfortunately is not going to disappear soon.’
This donation is a part of Speedy Freight’s wider pledge to end food poverty. Working in conjunction with several other brands and charities, Speedy Freight has signed up to the Right for Food campaign launched by Ian Byrne, MP for Liverpool West Derby.
The campaign aims to introduce a legal ‘right to food’, clarifying obligations on food poverty and introducing legal avenues to hold government bodies accountable for violations. In practice, it would end the five-week wait for universal credit and help to bring the UK closer to the goal of Zero Hunger*.
To add your name to the list of signatures and help to make access to food a legal right, please visit: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/562838
* United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger