Changes in the Welfare system are having an impact on the demands of the Foodbank here at BHP. On Wednesday 16 food vouchers were presented as the end of the month approaches and money runs out…just over 5 food parcels per hour. This week the food parcels we gave out were to feed 30 adults and 18 children. A food parcel provides food for 3 days.
When the Government measure poverty they often use the measure for Relative Poverty which is when a household (2 Adults and 2 Children) are living on less than £15840. It may surprise you that today in the UK some of the children living in relative poverty are NOT eligible for a free school meal. We believe this is an injustice that needs to be addressed and that is why we are supporting The Black Country Foodbank this summer. They have invited churches in Brierley Hill to partner with Make Lunch, a charity set up to tackle the issue of holiday hunger – their vision is to make a lunch kitchen available for every child who needs it. Their mission is to fill the holiday hunger gap, to raise awareness and to influence change.
In our area 1 of the primary schools have 60% of their pupils eligible for free school meals compared to 25% nationally. A shocking thought when we also know that only 70% of those living in relative poverty are eligible. We will be supporting South Street Baptist Church to provide a hot lunch during the week of their holiday club this summer. There’s lots to do to prepare but we believe it’s worth the push when such a need exists.
Churches keen to be involved signed up and attended a training session at the Storehouse on Saturday. It was a sobering yet enjoyable day. Thank you to Emma from Black Country Foodbank for arranging the day and providing a delicious lunch.
If you would like to know more about this initiative please get in touch. We will be more than happy to tell you more.