With the precarious nature of today’s economy and many jobs being lost nationally with businesses going into administration, if that happened and you found yourself with no pay cheque next month, how would you cope? How would you pay your bills and buy food for the family? These are the questions, our residents are facing day in, day out, with many facing a pay freeze, the threat of redundancy hanging over them and some facing problems just getting basic benefits.
That is why our partnership with the Watford Foodbank is so critical, a partnership that is tackling poverty. Since its launch last year, a total of 322 people have been helped with food parcels and these numbers are steadily increasing.
In January, approximately 10-12 food parcels were collected weekly from the Trust’s office which was a steep increase on the previous month. The numbers continue to grow substantially which is evidenced by the 10 parcels that were issued in just three days to people last week. Some of these were our tenants who had their benefit suspended their payment delayed or just did not have the money to buy food.
Many more people are struggling to pay their fuel bills, service debts or just feed the family. That is why our staff are available to offer advice to people who are facing a crisis, whether it is help with benefit problems or just signpost them to a specialist agency.
The Watford Foodbank is currently located at the Leavesden Green Community Centre but given the growth in numbers, it is currently considering larger premises in the town.
Donations to the Foodbank are generous with support from the Francis Coombe Academy, BT, Warner Brother Studios, local churches and businesses. At their last supermarket collection, 1.8 metric tonnes were donated with a further 30% being matched by Tesco, with a monetary value of £900.
Last week I was delighted to have been invited to spend the afternoon at the Foodbank. This gave me a greater insight on how the Foodbank works and I was very pleased to have the opportunity to help put together some of the food parcels. Besides being a very productive afternoon, it was a great way to spend a few hours doing something that you know is going to have an incredible impact on other people and help make that little bit of difference to their lives.
If you have some spare time on your hands, even if it is only a few hours, volunteers are encouraged to come forward and all donations however, large or small are graciously received.
If you would like further information regarding the Foodbank, please contact our Financial Inclusion Officer, Nazma Abdul-Karim on 01923 209114 or for anything else happening at the Trust, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.