LOCAL FOODBANKS ARE CALLING FOR EXTRA SUPPLIES IN CROYDON AND SUTTON TO STOP FOOD POVERTY. LET’S USE OUR GREAT LABOUR NETWORK TO HELP THEM!
If your home struggles from poverty, abuse or domestic violence, leaving school means leaving safety. Tragically, teachers know that many of our students are returning to school around now less happy and healthy than when they left us.
At school, children on free school meals are guaranteed at least one hot and nutritious meal a day and breakfast clubs are open. In the holidays, this often gets taken away. On top of that, children may visit other parts of their family, so suddenly a single dad or secondary carer may be trying to feed children they wouldn’t usually budget for.
The Trussell Trust estimates that over 87,000 food parcels were handed out in last year’s summer holidays alone and that over one-third of those went to families with children.
No one is arguing that foodbanks are the solution to our problems. After foodbank use climbed in Croydon when the borough was first used as a pilot for universal credit, we know that we need to fix our humiliating and broken benefits system. Beyond that, we need to help work on the deepest causes of poverty, from family breakdown to economic opportunity. To build a community where people can support themselves and their families without falling through the gaps, early intervention is essential, investment is vital and ending austerity paramount.
But all of these solutions take time – and a Labour government. They don’t help children who are hungry right now as you read this. Foodbanks are like our emergency services – for sure, it would have been far better if we’d invested in prevention before the accident, but once it’s happened you need to make damn sure one is there and fully resourced.
Volunteers and Labour campaigners have done great work on this issue. We’re lucky enough in our party to have a huge network of people who are compassionate and motivated to act by a strong sense of social justice: campaigners have worked tirelessly this summer to help get food to food banks and support children in particular. Now that the holidays are over let’s continue to work to keep this up. If you have anything to donate, you can drive a car, or you just want to get involved, drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. The map shows just one day’s worth of donations that we picked up from you one Friday evening in August. Please help to keep this great effort going!