‘Normal people who fall on hard times’: Sid Valley Food Bank recipients say thanks

PUBLISHED: 07:30 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:48 21 February 2018

The Sid Valley Food Bank's Andie Milne with Tom De Remer and Tom Lovatt

The Sid Valley Food Bank's Andie Milne with Tom De Remer and Tom Lovatt

Archant

Trustees are urging people to think about the Sid Valley Food Bank when they go shopping while demand remains high.

An example of the food that goes into a weekly package from the Sid Valley Food BankAn example of the food that goes into a weekly package from the Sid Valley Food Bank

Andie Milne, who recently joined as the cause as session leader, said her eyes had been opened to how easily hard-working people can fall on difficult times.

The Herald has spoken to two recipients about their circumstances and how the food bank gave them hope.

A dad who lost his job shortly after his baby was born does not know how he would have coped without its support.

“I’ve been supported by the food bank since just before Christmas after I lost my job,” said the man, who asked not to be identified. “I was quite ashamed. I have a partner who’s on maternity leave and a young baby.

“My partner was very proud. She was embarrassed and didn’t want to come in [to the food bank]. We didn’t know where we were going to find food.

“It’s brilliant here, the team are great, really supportive and friendly. If the food bank wasn’t here, I don’t know what we would do – probably go quite hungry.

“My partner and I are going to donate to the food bank. It’s a wonderful cause.”

A mum of two grown children lost her job after a long-term illness. She first went to the food bank eight weeks ago while she waited for her benefits to be paid.

“They’re lifesavers,” said the woman, who hopes to volunteer with the food bank to give something back.

“They’re so kind and friendly. I was in a sticky situation. While you’re waiting to claim your benefits you get nothing. I’m on Employment and Support Allowance, but by the time you’ve paid the bills and the bedroom tax, there’s nothing left. I was getting into debt with my rent and was close to homelessness.

“I never thought I’d need the support of a food bank. I’ve always worked and there are a lot of people in my situation. It’s a sign of the times. People think it’s just people sitting on the dole, but there are people who have worked all their lives.”

Andie said: “People who come to the food bank are normal people who fall on hard times. We want people to think about the food bank when they go to the shop, and think about the items that go into a meal.”

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