It never ceases to amaze me, that in one of the worst areas in the UK for deprivation, that Sandwell residents and workers are extremely generous in their giving to food banks. At our food bank, we feed an average of 75 people per week. If you factor in the statistics from other food banks in Sandwell, you multiply the need several times over!
We, like other food banks rely on the generosity of individuals, places of faith, local organisations and businesses for donations to keep our vital services going. We do not charge clients of agencies for the support we give and never would! But, there is no denying that Sandwell is high on a list of the most deprived areas in the United Kingdom. It is, therefore, totally mind blowing that residents and workers within the area are so commited to helping those who are (often through no fault of their own) in crisis and unable to afford to fed themselves and their families.
We closed the food bank on Friday 23rd December 2016 for a week. This was to allow our volunteer team to take a well earned break and to enjoy the season with family and friends. Even on that last Friday, we were still receiving donations and were late in closing due to the amount of food coming in. These ‘late’ donations will not be wasted but will be given out in the New Year.
The generosity we have experienced over the year has shown that Sandwell does care and is concerned for their fellow residents. Without wishing to be sentimental and tugging at your heart strings, the ‘community spirit’ is alive and well in West Bromwich and the wider area of Sandwell.
At the food bank, we are well aware of the reasons why people are in crisis and it casts the government in a bad light. The highest duty of government, I believe, is to look after all of its citizens and to ensure that support is there when needed.
My apologies, I seemed to have moved off topic. The failings of government can be kept for a later date!
The objective of this post is to highlight the generosity and community spirit of Sandwell residents, workers, individuals and organisations that support the local food banks. As I finish this post, may I just say a sincere thanks to everyone in Sandwell. Your generosity is very much appreciated by those in crisis and the various food bank teams scattered across the borough.
Keith Turner – Food Bank Manager