Help support foodbanks and food poverty by starting in your local community
Here are ways that you can help tackle food poverty and the issues raised by the film I, Daniel Blake.
The story of the rise of foodbanks is told in Ken Loach and Paul Laverty’s film. I, Daniel Blake. It's a powerful comment on austerity and modern Britain.
The film shot in Newcastle in 2016 premiers on UK TV on Saturday evening on BBC2 at 9.45pm. If you’ve not seen the film before mark-up your diary.
I, Daniel Blake tells the story of a 59 year old joiner who is forced to go back to work after a heart attack, and a single mother of two young children.
The unlikely pairing fall between the cracks of the welfare state and become reliant on food banks for basic groceries.
I challenge you to watch the film and not be moved to action. It’s a narrative that continues to play out as a result of delays to Universal Credit payments.
But that’s only part of the story. Around a third of the people who use foodbanks in the UK are in work but are reliant on it to make ends meet.
Critics, including the Government, claim Loach and Paul Laverty’s portrayal of the state are exaggerated but data tells a contrary story.
Foodbank usage is up fourfold since 2012 according to a United Nation report published in November by Professor Philip Alston on poverty in the UK.
He criticised the Government for dismissing foodbank usage in the UK as the norm in western countries and for failing to proactively tackle food poverty.
How to help
If you’ve watched I, Daniel Blake and want to help tackle the issue there’s a really simple way in which you can help in your own community. Add a few extra groceries into your weekly shop and leave them at the collection point at your local supermarket.
Alternatively use Google Maps or the Trussell Trust website to find your local foodbank and drop in food yourself.
Here’s a list if you’re wondering what to donate.
Tinned and packet potatoes
Long life milk
Jams and spreads
Household cleaning items
Sarah and I have raised money for our local foodbank, the BAY Foodbank in North Shields, Newcastle, each year for the last three years.
We’ve launched a new fundraising campaign prompted by the TV premier of I, Daniel Blake. I’m conscious that there’s a danger of exhausting the goodwill of my network but it’s an important issue.
If you’d like to donate please head over to the fundraiser on my Facebook page. £5 would great, £10 would fantastic, and £20 would be amazing.
Thank you for your support.