When Eastbourne Foodbank approached Sportswise and explained why they needed our support we were keen to help.
We have made a start by sponsoring the race bibs for a team of Foodbank volunteers taking part in the Eastbourne Half Marathon but we are hoping to do more because we agree with their statement: “We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry.”
We’ve all heard through national media that the number of people relying on Foodbanks around the country has risen considerably in recent times. We were dismayed to hear from Eastbourne Foodbank that this is very much the case here, in our home town. In January alone, the Foodbank team here was called upon to help 859 adults and 428 local children – supplying 3 days emergency food and non-food items such as washing powder, shampoo and sanitary products.
Eastbourne Foodbank provides three days worth of nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to people referred to them who are in crisis. It is part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, who work to combat poverty and hunger across the UK. In 2018 Eastbourne Foodbank helped 12,097 people.
Howard Wardle of Eastbourne Foodbank explained to us that they aim to not only help at the point of crisis but to offer specific advice and support that will help get them back on their feet – ultimately to reduce their dependency on Foodbank. From March they will be providing Foodbank clients with expert, regulated debt advice so that they can find a route through their difficulties. Eastbourne Foodbank would love to no longer be needed.
Many of us will have moments in our lives when we need a helping hand in one way or another but often we will be able to rely on family and friends to provide this. Sadly not everyone is in that position and without a ‘safety net’, the unplanned changes in life, such as a job loss, bereavement, physical or mental health problems, delays in benefit, or the long-term effect of low income and insecure employment can quickly change a person’s situation from ‘just about managing’ to catastrophic consequences. Food poverty, increasingly, can be one such consequence.
If you would like to help Sportswise help Eastbourne Foodbank please keep an eye open for future fundraising and food collection efforts. If you would like to know more about how Eastbourne Foodbank help local people, including the non- food support and advice they provide, please visit their website or Facebook page.