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What you should never give a foodbank

December 5, 2017 1:21 PM
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What you need to know if you want to donate to your local foodbank

Scousers are renowned for their generosity as was shown earlier this year when a Liverpool foodbank called out for urgent help.

Merseyside Youth Association tweeted an appeal for help after a high demand wiped out their supplies.

An outpouring of support flooded in for the Hanover Street foodbank with many offering monetary donations as well as food.

The Trussell Trust, who runs 400 UK food banks, said more than 1.8 million emergency food handouts were given this year, an astonishing 436,938 of them to children.

A parent on mumsnet wrote how she had given a small bottle of wine to her local foodbank,

She said: "Picked up a miniature white wine and a 5 pack of twirls, husband was aghast. My view is that people who are struggling to feed their families wouldn't have funds for such treats. (I did also put tinned fruit and veg in, by the way!)"

Although many commenters felt it was a nice idea some suspected that it wasn't going to be passed on.

It may be a nice thought, particularly about Christmas and the festive season, but alcohol is one of the items foodbanks can not pass out.

The Trussell Trust, the UK largest organisation of foodbanks, confirmed to the ECHO that none of their charities give out alcohol in parcels, making this, albeit nice gesture, pointless.

But more than that, it's also a large part of a lot of festive staples.

A classic Christmas pudding will include as much as 5% brandy, with others also including cider, sherry and rum.

Mince pies are also frequently made with brandy – and that's before we get onto Christmas cakes. Even stollen can be made with rum or other spirits.

That means, according to food bank volunteers the Mirror Online spoke to, in many cases boozy puddings, cakes and pies get left on the side.

Foodbanks also will not take baby formula on advice from UNICEF. In guidelines set out in 2014, foodbanks were encouraged to support breastfeeding mums, but not give out formula.

Foodbanks take a wide range of food items and a typical parcel will include cereal, soup, pasta, rice, pasta sauce, beans, tinned meat, tinned veg, tea and coffee, tinned fruit and biscuits.

If you are thinking of donating to a foodbank it is worth going to the Trussell Trust website to see what your local foodbank needs and what they have plenty of. You can find out here.

For example, at the time of writing, the North Liverpool Foodbank had plenty of beans and pasta, but needed tinned veg, rice, fruit juice, coffee, curry and pasta sauce, sugar, custard, cup a soups, noodles and jam.

Foodbanks are vastly becoming more than just an emergency hub for food supplies for hungry families.

They also look to support people by offering help with information on welfare, housing, job skills and grants.

Many also take donations of toys for their 'Big Wrap' - which gives Christmas presents to children living in poverty.

The Trussell Trust also works on group sessions, such as money and financial advice, how to eat well and spend less and holiday clubs for struggling parents.

If you feel you are in need of a foodbank you can simply get in touch with your local branch by email or phone. Alll contact details are on their website here.

The foodbank will be able to tell you which referral agencies they work with in your area and how you can get a voucher.

When you recive your food voucher You simply take it along to your local foodbank and a trained volunteer will sit down with you to discuss your situation and provide a food parcel.

Volunteers meet clients over a warm drink or free hot meal and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problem.

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Source: liverpoolecho.co.uk

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