A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
The radio news this morning carried a story about the steep increase in people using foodbanks. The Trussell Trust, a charity supporting the emerging foodbank network, have said that between April and September this year, more than 350,000 people across the UK received a three-day emergency food package from them - three times as many as the same period last year. Have a look at the video below to see how they operate.
I recently saw members of the North Enfield Foodbank make a presentation to a group of children aged between 9 to 12. They spoke about people who use their service- a self-employed painter and decorator who broke his ankle in a fall at work and can’t earn until it heals, a mother and two children who after years of abuse summoned up the courage to flee domestic violence.
The young people were attentive and interested; their questions to the presenters demonstrated that they understood the issues and had empathy for the desperate situations in which increasing numbers are finding themselves.
This time of year it is traditional to celebrate Harvest Festival in churches and schools - people recognise nature’s bounty as the seasons change by each bringing along a contribution of food. I recently heard that one fairly local primary school is reinstating a “Harvest Festival” this autumn specifically to help out a food bank which is almost overwhelmed by the desperate need of families it sets out to support.
Harvest Festival is a traditional British event - and this is a traditionally British response - reaching out to support those less able to support themselves; sharing and giving; coming together to aggregate assistance. So, as a result the head teacher, staff and families at this school have provided collective support to help sustain our neighbours who are forced to use the local foodbank …
...whilst the work of the foodbank volunteers and staff provide a vital lifesaving service ... isn’t it a disgrace that in Britain, in 2013, in the capital of the seventh richest country in the world, primary school kids are feeding their neighbours?