Breadline Britain: Helping families eat this Christmas

Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham has urged people to think about those families struggling to buy the basics for Christmas this year.

Jon works closely with all the foodbanks in the constituency including, Store City – operating out of Bethel Church and the Rainham food bank which is one of the Trussel Trusts 200 nationwide foodbanks. Jon Cruddas MP has previously spoken about the necessity of foodbanks and continues to help raise awareness of the growing problem of food poverty. Over 200,000 people are expected to turn to a foodbank for help this year. The projects operating in Dagenham and Rainham offer a proactive hand up to people who cannot even afford the basic essentials to survive. Rising living costs, job insecurity and benefit changes are making life tough for families.

With increasing job insecurity, rising energy prices and with the Tory-led government’s proposed benefit cuts to come in April, it is now more than ever that the foodbanks are becoming an unfortunate necessity with the number in the borough reaching double figures. However Jon Cruddas MP thinks “it is inspiring to see such a positive reaction to people in need.” The recent launch of the Barking and Dagenham Post’s Christmas food bank campaign ‘Food for Thought’ is a great way to raise awareness and support for the borough’s foodbanks at a time of the year when support is vital.

Tesco has recently teamed up with food waste charity FareShare, to encourage supermarkets and food businesses to donate their surplus, edible food to charities rather than burying it as landfill. The Tesco store in Rainham has held two events recently to support this scheme.

Jon Cruddas MP said: “Christmas is a time for families to come together and celebrate, but the reality is that many people in the local area are suffering as the Government’s failed economic approach continues to bite. We can all do our bit to help those in need by supporting our local foodbanks. These vital community based projects have helped to improve the quality of life for many people across Barking and Dagenham and I applaud all their hard work. These foodbanks are not just hand-out projects they also aim to get families back on their feet. They focus on introducing individuals and families to community organisations that assist them in becoming self-sufficient again.”

Mary Creagh MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, who is leading the Breadline Britain campaign nationally added: 

“This Tory-led Government’s double dip recession is hitting families who are feeling the squeeze from higher food bills, lower wages and welfare changes. It is a disgrace that even though we are the seventh richest country in the world we face an epidemic of hidden hunger, particularly in children.”