New data released by the Foodbank charity, The Trussell Trust has revealed the need for foodbanks in December is increasing steeply. The number of food supplies given to people in 2017 rose by 10 per cent from December 2016, when 144,677 food supplies were given out. The Trust says colder weather heaps pressure onto people already in crisis during the winter while increasingly families are unable to cover the cost of living such as, heating bills, food and other essentials.
This new research shows the need to act urgently to halt the rise in poverty among workers and their families, as well as among children in workless families. Housing Providers especially have a vital responsibility to help families with the cost of living. Not only through providing good-quality, affordable and safe housing, but in our wider work that helps communities to prosper and thrive.
At Radian that is exactly what we are working to achieve through our award-winning community and welfare initiatives.
Due to increasing need, we recently extended our holiday hunger scheme, Good Grub Club (GGC) to Longwood Park for two Christmas special after school sessions. The project, which aims to primarily tackle Holiday Hunger saw local residents attend the first session on Friday 14 December. While the families got stuck in with prepping and cooking the food, a community organisation called Living in Harmony gave the children a masterclass in how to prevent diabetes through healthy eating.
One of the parents said: “We like coming along to learn about recipes that are easy to cook, and I can use them at home too. The boys really enjoy the sessions since coming to the summer Good Grub Club they are now helping me cook at home in the kitchen which is great!”
Radian’s Tenancy Sustainment Officer, Janet Richardson said: “The families were really excited to be there, parents were getting involved with their children and working together to prepare the meal. They were also engaging with staff, offering to clean up and you could see how much they appreciated the event. It was a real pleasure to be part of the event.”
Over the Christmas period we will be supporting struggling families, with the club set to return to Colne Avenue Baptist Church, Millbrook on Friday 4 January between 11am – 1pm.
Radian’s Community Development Officer, Jess Tarrant will also be issuing food hampers containing fresh food produce on Christmas Eve (24 December), for families who are in greatest need this Christmas.
In the new year we will be extending the scheme again, to areas considered to be in greatest need, focusing on geographical areas of poor health, high childhood obesity levels and high rent arrears across our communities.