Helping people in food crisis
Published by Ceri Jackson for Longhurst Group in Communities and also in Bill Payments, Care and Support, Health, Housing
Head of Property Services Mark Roger and Property Services Team Manager Phil Ison collecting food donations for Rutland Food Bbank
Spire Homes’ staff went the extra mile by giving a helping hand to the Rutland Foodbank on Friday. Spire also gave a £500 donation through their Community Fund for racking in the Foodbank’s warehouse.
Staff volunteered at Tesco in Oakham to collect food donations from shoppers, which will be used to help make up Christmas food parcels for those that otherwise would not enjoy any festive food. Spire Homes have also donated the long-term use of a garage where the foodbank can store extra goods.
This is part of Spire Homes’ ‘bigger volunteering’ policy, where staff can take time out of work to get involved and give something back to their communities. “This volunteering policy is an important part of Spire’s aim to engage and develop relationships in local communities and to ensure that staff have time where they can give something back.” said Julie Doyle, Managing Director.
“It was great to get involved and spend time helping local people and spreading the word about the great work Rutland Foodbank are doing to support the local community. The donations we collected will make a huge difference to local people’s lives.” Said Phil Ison, Property Services Team Manager.
Foodbanks rely on the support of local communities which is why schools, churches, businesses and individuals all choose to donate food to foodbanks, and why Supermarkets also contribute to food collections. Supermarket Collection events, like the one on Friday, help to keep shelves stocked up when demand is high. At the collections volunteers give shoppers a ‘foodbank shopping list’ and ask them to buy an extra item or two for local people in crisis. Care professionals then identify people in crisis and give them a voucher which can be redeemed for three days of emergency food.
The Rutland Food Bank is part of Trussell Trust foodbanks. The Trussell Trust have seen the biggest rise in requests for emergency food since they began in 2000. During 2012/13, almost 350,000 people received at least three days emergency food. The rising cost of living, static incomes, changes to benefits, underemployment and unemployment have meant increasing numbers of people in the UK have hit a crisis that forces them to go hungry. This dramatic rise in foodbank usage comes as welfare reform hits, and numbers could increase further still.
If you’d like to get involved, volunteer or make a donation, visit www.rutland.foodbank.org.uk. Or if you’re holding an event and you’d like Spire Homes to volunteer to help, please call 0300 123 66 11.