Abuse Survivors Blog

The value of food banks in the UK

Written by Bernadette James on 29 Mar 2021

Toiletries donation

Sadly, the Coronavirus pandemic has caused countless families onto the mercies of benefits such as Universal Credit and other benefits with the possibility of thousands more following before the crisis is over.

In its current form the welfare system is a trap that needlessly perpetuates poverty and hopelessness and more importantly homelessness. Foodbanks have been a lifeline for many people in the United Kingdom who living on low incomes, coupled with the impact of the pandemic having been left vulnerable and exposed some with small children and unable to provide substantial food for them. The pain that parents and families go through when they are unable to put a meal on the table for their children and themselves is heart-breaking.   

The Guardian recently reported on a survey which highlights how deeply the Covid crisis has impacted living standards. The survey showed that one in five schools have set up a food bank since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic to support those in need and more than a quarter of teachers said they personally kept private stores of food and snacks to give to hungry pupils.

On 12 February 2021 ITV highlighted the need for foodbanks during the ‘On the Breadline: Foodbank Britain - Tonight’ ITV programme. This programme gave concerning and heart-breaking accounts of parents who go without meals so that their children can eat. 

According to the Trussell Trust in February 2021 there were over 1,300 Trussell Trust food banks in the UK, in addition to over 900 independent foodbanks.  Volunteers are the driving force behind foodbanks. There are thousands of volunteers across the UK, helping The Trussell Trust Foodbank Network get emergency food to people in crisis. They rely on the community’s support to help stop people going hungry. Bedford Food Bank are part of the Trussell Trust network of foodbanks across the country.  Bedford Food Bank provides 3 days of food to local people in crisis via a food bank voucher referral system from each of the 7 distribution centres based in Bedford and Kempston area.

Recently Emmott Snell were pleased to collect, store cupboard/non-perishable foodstuff such as tinned foods, pastas, rice and more recently toiletries, cleaning and personal hygiene products to donate to the Bedford Food Bank store on Murdock Road, Bedford. The volunteers have been so grateful for our donations.

We at Emmott Snell Solicitors pride ourselves in helping support those who are vulnerable and struggling particularly in these challenging and difficult times and will continue to help and support the Bedford Food Bank as often as when we can. None of us know what could happen in the future with job losses and other hardships but worst of all the fear of not being able to feed our families is unimaginable.

Useful websites 

COVID Community Campaign

The Trussell Trust

Citizens Advice - Using a food bank

School Food Matters

Bolton Nice

Church on the Street Ministries

Food Share Project

Church in the Peak

Kath Duncan Equality & Civil Rights Network

Topics: News

Bernadette James

Written by Bernadette James