As we begin a new year, I thought it might be a good moment to report on the work of the Weston Favell Centre Foodbank, the Foodbank which we operate with partners and which has had an exponential growth in both demand and operation over the last few years.
In 2019, Weston Favell Centre Foodbank supported 5911 people. A very large number I’m sure you’d agree. In 2020, it supported 12003 people, including 5463 children. Yes, that’s right, usage more than doubled in 2020. Lots of reasons for this certainly, but just let the numbers sink in.
Thank you to all who have supported the Foodbank, The Emmanuel Group Of Churches, Northampton, Northampton Hope Centre and many others besides who have worked so hard over the last year to serve and support people and provide avenues for positive change.
Lots of people work hard to eradicate poverty and its causes in Northampton and Northampton East in particular. It is a real team effort to support those in crisis. I don’t think we should need Foodbanks in 2021, but it’s clear that we do. I’ve called on Andrew Lewer MP and Michael Ellis MP to continue to work to do something about the causes and consequences which lead to people needing to use Foodbanks. Will you join me?
I know I’m prone to speaking up too much and too often, but I really do believe that we are seeing a great injustice being perpetrated in our time as those who are ‘poor’ are experiencing the effects of all that is happening around us in a much rawer way than many others. Of course, Coronavirus itself can affect anyone, but the circumstantial consequences of how we are all living now hit those who are ‘poorer’ in whatever sense, disproportionately harder. Our Foodbank, the work of Emmanuel, and the people and organisations we partner with will continue this year, have no doubt about that, but I’m equally becoming ever more weary of the fact that things like Foodbanks are now perceived as a normal and necessary element of our society. This should not be so. It was not so in the not-too-distant past. What changed? We are all vulnerable. No one ‘deserves’ to suffer disproportionately. We can’t let this continue. We must find ways to speak up and bring about effective change.
Well done to Anne and the whole of her fantastic team for great work done last year.