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News and events
KHT DIRECTORS GET HANDS ON AT FOODBANK CHARITY
Barry Cooper (left) and Bob Taylor
Housing directors have been helping pack food parcels that will feed families struggling to make ends meet.
Directors from Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT), including Chief Executive Bob Taylor, volunteered to help out at Knowsley Foodbank, a charity that provides food parcels for households on low incomes.
Executive Director of Business Services Jason Ridley, Ian Thomson, Executive Director of Asset Management, Social Responsibility Team Leader Kerry Cullen and Affordable Warmth Assistant Emma O'Hara also joined Barry Cooper and Peter Mitchell from the Foodbank for the afternoon.
Bob Taylor said: "The volunteers do an amazing job and I'm pleased we could help out, if only in this small way.
"Unfortunately it is a service that is vital to some to get through difficult times. In some ways I wish it wasn't needed, but based on the numbers the Foodbank is helping it clearly is.
"The response of local people in donating food has been extraordinary and we want to encourage their continued support."
The directors were packing food that had been collected at a recent event at a local Asda store.
Volunteers, including KHT staff, collected over half a tonne of food in 25 boxes, by asking shoppers to buy an extra item from a Foodbank shopping list.
KHT is one of the partners that helped to set up Knowsley Foodbank. Since opening in September 2011 it has helped to feed 414 people, of which 165 were KHT tenants.
The number of people using the Foodbank has been increasing dramatically and at Christmas they fed 90 people in one week.
The charity has 10 to 30 regular volunteers who sort the food and give it out to people who visit the centre, but they are always looking for more.
Barry Cooper from Knowsley Foodbank said: "The demand we have seen shows just how many people are struggling to feed their families.
"However the Foodbank is only providing a sticking plaster - we need to tackle the real reasons why people need to use a Foodbank centre."
There are two outlets in Kirkby - Centre 63 and St Mark's Church - but the charity would like to set up 10 Foodbanks across Knowsley.
Our next supermarket collections will be:
Saturday 11th February 9.30am- 1pm at Co-op Kirkby
Saturday 10th March 9.30am- 1pm at Co-op Kirkby
If you would like to help with the collection then send us an email: email@example.com
or call us on: 07731789794
21st January saw a donation from Asda customers of 507.7kg and help from 40 Foodbank volunteers! Thank you to Asda Huyton, all who donated food and to our volunteers.
Our next supermarket collection will be on Saturday 21st January in Asda, Hyton from 9.30am-4.30pm. If you can volunteer to help us on the 21st Jan please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also volunteer at the Foodbank distribution points (Tuesdays at Centre 63 and Thursdays at St Marks Church). Email us if you'd like to help out.
Since first opening in September the Knowsley Foodbank has helped out over one hundred people in crisis with emergency food parcels. One lady who told us that without the food parcel she recieved her and her family 'wouldn't have been able to survive.'
In just over six weeks it has received over three and a half tonnes of food donated from the public and has fed 111 people, giving out 674kg of food.
It has already helped families across Northwood, Cherryfield, Whitefield, Kirkby Central and Park wards.
Steve Heverin Operational Director of Investment at KHT, said: “Today, making ends meet is more difficult than ever as high unemployment and rising food and fuel prices take their toll.
“The high demand for help from Knowsley Foodbank in its first six weeks shows how many people are going hungry while they struggle to pay all their bills, and how important charities like this are.
“They rely on the generosity of Knowsley residents to keep this vital service going and the support has been overwhelming.”
Over one tonne of food has been donated from school harvest festivals and three quarters of a tonne from a supermarket collection recently held at Tesco in Prescot.
We're looking for volunteers to help us at our first supermarket collection which will be at the Co-op in Kirkby on Saturday 13 August from 9.30am to 4.00pm. If you would like to help or just want more information then please phone Barry on 077731 789794. If you in the area and can't help then please do come and say hello and perhaps buy a tin or two for the foodbank!
Foodbanks are opening at an unprecedented rate to meet the high demand for emergency food aid: in 2011 The Trussell Trust has launched a new foodbank every week, launching its 100th UK foodbank this week. We've also launched our first international foodbank in Sofia, Bulgaria.
61,000 people nationwide have received emergency food handouts from The Trussell Trust's UK foodbanks in the last 12 months, 50% more than last year. Most foodbank recipients are not homeless; they are low-income working families who hit crisis, people who have been made redundant or people experiencing benefits delays. We are excited that more and more churches and communities across the UK are seeing the need on their doorsteps and working with us to launch more foodbanks.
Could your local church launch a foodbank?
You're more likely to know him for his roles in Love Actually and Pirates of the Caribbean rather than combatting poverty, but actor Bill Nighy is a keen campaigner on social justice. As one of the voices of the Robin Hood Tax campaign, Bill wanted to find out more about UK poverty and Oxfam suggested that he visit a Trussell Trust foodbank!
On Wednesday we took Bill to Hammersmith and Fulham foodbank where he met foodbank clients, heard their stories and even packed a foodbox himself. At the end of his visit we asked Bill what he thought, he told us: 'It's very moving to come here in modern times to see a room incredibly well stocked with donated food for people who, through no fault of their own, have dropped through the cracks. The fact that the people here volunteer to help is both touching and exemplary. I salute all those involved.'
Watch Guardian online's film of Bill's visit
Following the closure of three local companies, Okehampton foodbank has seen numbers needing emergency food soar from 20 to 200 per week. Unemployment in the Devon town has risen from 2% to nearly 12% leaving many former employees with no choice but to rely on food parcels from Okehampton foodbank until redundancy packages and benefit payments come through.
The plight of the people in Okehampton and surge in numbers turning to the foodbank has been widely reported by the national media. Whilst local people have rallied to provide extra food to meet the demand, the foodbank is still under pressure. Okehampton foodbank's Andrew Morgan told the Guardian, "We are still appealing for food, it is desperately needed: some staff made redundant hadn't been paid for weeks. There really are people with no money and they really can't afford to put food on the table."
Adrian and Kay Vernon were both made redundant from Polestar foods, Okehampton, and suddenly left with no money. With a four-year-old daughter to feed, Adrian told the BBC that his foodbox was 'a lifesaver'.
Unemployment nationwide is at a 17-year high and foodbanks across the country are experiencing huge demand. This year the UK foodbank network estimates it has fed 60,000 people; an increase of nearly 20,000 people from the previous year.