It is by acting as a community that we can help local food banks support the thousands of people that visit them each year – and time is of the essence.
By Philippa Batting, Managing Director, Buckinghamshire Business First
Here at Buckinghamshire Business First, we put an enormous amount of energy into supporting businesses to grow and be successful. We encourage a sense of community where businesses support each other.
Our business community can also be effective at supporting local communities and, in particular, those less fortunate. Businesses understand the benefits of making people their priority wherever they can. This means staff, families, friends, members of the community and those less fortunate than themselves.
Food bank use on the rise in Buckinghamshire
You may be aware that the use of food banks in the UK has risen over the last few years and that the number of food packages handed out is growing at an enormous rate. Food banks across Buckinghamshire are telling us that demand is significantly up (by as much as 38% at some banks) because of the effect of Universal Credit and other issues, but donations to the food banks are well down compared to last year (one food bank reported needing 2.9 tonnes of donations in August but only receiving 1.3 tonnes).
Demand is rising, supply is falling
What part can we all play to help support our local food banks? Buckinghamshire is home to many, and they are facing challenges in providing the thousands of people that come to them each year with what they need. To put it in terms that business owners in particular will understand: demand is going up but supply is going down. Food banks tend to be short of essential items such as tinned meats, fruit and potatoes, rice, cereal and long-life milk.
The time for action is now
This is not a message to do something nice as a new year's resolution or as a one-off thing to make ourselves feel good. This is a call to help now and to continue that support into the future. Let’s not put off until another day what we can start now. Food banks should not be as common as they are in a country with the fifth largest economy in the world, but the reality is that they are part of our local community. It is by acting as a community that we can help support those less fortunate than ourselves, and the need is so great that we can’t wait.
Support your local food banks
From the OneCanTrust food bank serving South Bucks to those covering places like Aylesbury, Buckingham and Chesham, there are plenty of places helping those in need. You can play your part by donating to food banks and encouraging your family, friends and work colleagues to get involved.
If you’d like to learn more about the location of your nearest food bank in Buckinghamshire, email me and I can put you in touch: Philippa@bbf.uk.com.