22nd Oct, 2016

Foodbank users tell stories in report

Evesham Editorial 3rd Apr, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

STORIES of local people who have been forced to turn to an Evesham foodbank are featured in a new report.

Local church representatives and other concerned bodies have come together to present report ‘Why Foodbanks in Evesham?’.

The report was launched on Monday (March 30) by the Evesham and District Justice and Equality Network (EDJEN) at the Caring Hands in the Vale charity based at Evesham Christian Centre.

The report includes stories of desperate people needing help from churches and other agencies in the Vale including one man who said the Caring Hands foodbank saved his life.

EDJEN Convenor, Rev David Haslam, said the rising number of people using foodbanks needed to be addressed by all parties in the run up to May’s General Election.

During the event, he quoted reports from the national Churches which said that children were living in fear of visits by bailiffs when their parents could not pay the Council Tax, which is now charged even to those drawing benefits.

Members of the EDJEN Foodbanks Forum include representatives from the Church of England, the Methodists, Baptists, Vale Christian Centre, the Trussell Trust, Rooftop Housing and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

All are concerned about the increasing number of people in poverty having to be helped, and referred to foodbanks.

The forum say the basic benefits of £72 per week are ‘very little to live on’, especially over a long period of time and claim many are falling into debt.

Members cited clients who have only £5 a week for food after they have paid all their other bills.

Rev Haslam said: “The rich are growing richer all the time. Bankers whose banks are in disgrace are taking home millions a year, and the richest 1,000 people in the UK have increased their total wealth to over £500billions.

“This kind of inequality undermines any sense of us being one human family.

“It must be unacceptable to any Christian – and all right-thinking people, of all faiths and none.” he added.