Can you fill a box and help fill an empty stomach?
IT couldn’t be simpler to get involved in our latest campaign. Ten Tonnes of Tins will help local people experiencing poverty. Dan Russell reports...
THE Grimsby Telegraph's latest campaign does exactly what it says on the tin.
With your help, we are attempting to collect 10 tonnes of tinned and packet food for those in need. We want schools, businesses and members of the community to come together and donate what they can to the Telegraph's Ten Tonnes Of Tins campaign.
The current economic downturn has led to a huge increase in the number of struggling individuals and families turning to the Daily Bread Food Larder at Christian Action Resource Enterprise (Care).
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Last year, the charity handed out 468 emergency food parcels to people in North East Lincolnshire from its headquarters in Hainton Avenue, Grimsby.
However, the charity has given away 129 food packages in January alone, and staff expect the situation to get even worse.
Sarah Taylor, the general manager of Care, which is run in conjunction with North East Lincolnshire Churches Together, said: "Because of increased needs, we simply need more donations.
"Although we do give out food parcels, people cannot just walk in and claim one.
"They are referred from an agency, the Job Centre, support workers or even teachers.
"Last year we helped 468 people in total, which is obviously more than one a day.
"But in January this year, we have already given out 129 food packages.
"As soon as we get food in, it goes out again – and we are expecting the demand to get a lot worse as time goes on.
"We get a lot of donations from Churches Together, but the organisation can no longer support us on its own due to the increasing need.
"Because of this, we are appealing to everyone to spare what they can.
"We don't want to have to close because of a lack of donations."
This is one of the many areas in which Care tries to relieve poverty, hardship and distress in North East Lincolnshire.
A typical food package will last a person or a family three days.
The idea is not to be able to feed someone for a sustained period of time, but to help them out of a crisis.
In 2005, a quarter of North East Lincolnshire was in the ten per cent most deprived parts of the country.
The deprivation, revealed in the Lower Layer Super Output Area (LSOA) map, has not improved much since and the latest research from 2010 shows that 25.2 per cent of North East Lincolnshire remains in the ten per cent most deprived areas of England. The East Marsh remains the second most deprived area in England.
The Daily Bread Food Larder helps people ranging from those who have lost their jobs to single parents finding it hard to make ends meet.
A single mother with a teenage son, who wished to remain anonymous, was a grateful recipient of help.
She said: "The Food Larder gave us food at a time when we didn't have anything.
"We were having to choose between spending our money on gas to heat our home through the cold weather or to buy food.
"It was such a relief at a time when we didn't know what to do.
"It was vital, otherwise we wouldn't have eaten for a number of days.
"It is unbelievably tough and each week it seems to get worse.
"When I go food shopping each week, the prices seem to go up, even on basics like bread and milk.
"It is getting more and more difficult to budget."
The Ten Tonnes Of Tins campaign has already been supported by storage company PPS East, which has supplied the campaign with 100 boxes for businesses and people to fill.
Business development manager Kate Williamson said: "We are delighted to be associated with the Grimsby Telegraph's Ten Tonnes Of Tins campaign, as we see this as a positive and practical initiative to collect and distribute food to local people who are finding it difficult feeding their families.
"This simply brilliant campaign asks those who have enough, to fill one of our reusable plastic boxes with tins of food to help those who may need a little help.
"All staff and management at PPS East are supporting the initiative wholeheartedly."
As well as publicising the campaign, staff in the Grimsby Telegraph newsroom have filled a box.
Sarah, from Care, added: "We are very pleased that the Telegraph has taken on board that there is such an increase in the need in the local area and we hope this campaign brings awareness of the issue to a much wider audience.
"If this campaign is successful in increasing the supply of donated food, then we will be able to help more and more vulnerable and needy people"
If your business would like to receive a box to fill, call 01472 372236. You can also bring donations to the Grimsby Telegraph office, at 80 Cleethorpe Road, Grimsby, between 9am and 1.30pm, Monday to Friday. For more information about Care, call 01472 232310.
If you have experienced food poverty, share your views through the Grimsby Telegraph. Get in touch with reporter Dan Russell on 01472 372236 or e-mail email@example.com, or log onto www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk and comment on this article.
REAL families in real need of help.
These are the people who Sarah Taylor and the Care organisation assist in North East Lincolnshire.
And, judging by their most recent statistics, the number who are genuinely living hand-to-mouth in North East Lincolnshire is ever increasing.
With utility bills continuing to rise and the prospect of further hard times ahead, the indications are that this situation is not going to improve any time soon.
In the past there has been a certain cynicism in some quarters with regards to those families who are facing hardship.
These cynics have accused adults of spending money on cigarettes, booze and going out at the expense of what really matters for the welfare of their children.
Yes, there is no doubt that this has been the case – and still will be within some households. It is still wrong that the innocent children in such a situation will suffer as a result , but that is a choice – and a bad one – that those adults are making.
The big difference in today's Britain is that a growing number of people do not have that choice to make – they simply do not have the money, full stop.
With this in mind, we are asking that people donate just a small amount to the Care's food packages programme – a little from many will go a long way.
Are you facing increasing costs or do you believe society is not doing enough to help those who are?