Amidst the festivity and celebrations, Christmas is a difficult time for many people and especially the most disadvantaged in our society. As a result of increased financial costs associated with this period, for gifts and essentials such as heating bills, and with the continued roll out of Universal Credit, benefit delays and reductions, foodbanks anticipate a rise in demand this December. They also struggle to gather sufficient donations (particularly toiletries, nappies and sanitary items) and volunteers to meet demand into the New Year.
How you can help:
You can make a financial or food donation to the Lewisham Foodbank. For full information on how to donate, the various collection points in the area and which items are most in need, please visit: https://lewisham.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/
Alternatively, if you require help:
If you find yourself in need, information on how to get help from Lewisham Foodbank is available at: https://lewisham.foodbank.org.uk/get-help/
I’m proud that here in Lewisham Deptford we have a fantastic community spirit, with many dedicated volunteers helping out at our local foodbanks. However, I believe much more needs to be done to tackle this UK-wide problem. Data from Unicef indicates that one in ten children live in households experiencing severe food insecurity. This is simply unacceptable.
I therefore fully support the Food and Insecurity Bill, a Private Member’s Bill introduced by my colleague Emma Lewell-Buck MP on 29 November, which would require the Government to monitor and report on food insecurity.
Although it is unlikely to be debated at its scheduled second reading on 2 February 2018 (sadly it is eighth on the order paper for that day), I will follow any progress the Bill makes, continue to advocate for a measurement of food insecurity and of course oppose further cuts to social security.