Helping to Feed Birmingham

Cllr John Cotton, cabinet member for social inclusion, community safety and equalities, asks citizens to donate to food banks and help Feed Birmingham.

Throughout the Covid19 pandemic, the city council and our partners have been working tirelessly to ensure vulnerable people don’t go hungry.

As well as making sure shielding residents who can’t access supplies get a regular food parcel, we have been helping those who are unable to get out to the shops and those who are struggling financially.

But the sad fact is that food poverty in our city and across the country was a major issue before the pandemic struck.  So as lockdown begins to ease, we need to look again at the long-term challenge of food poverty; not simply providing food but ensuring citizens are able to obtain decent, affordable food in the first place.

This means putting in place an all-round package of support: things like good financial advice and help with maximising income; enabling access to hardship funds; and volunteer schemes to help people with shopping.

I’ve always said that it is wrong that people in a rich country like ours have been forced to rely upon food banks.  They shouldn’t be needed in the Britain of 2020.  But the blunt truth is that they are a vital lifeline for people right now and we need to do all we can to help them.  That’s why Thrive Together Birmingham, alongside a number of charities, has set up the Feed Brum campaign, aimed at increasing donations to food banks across the city.

So, I have a simple plea to those of you who are now able to get out more as lockdown eases: please donate if you can.  I know that these are tough times for all of us, for many reasons, but for some in our city financial worries make things very difficult indeed.  For these people, the support they receive from food banks is essential.

There may be food banks near you, but if you are not sure and are interested in helping in any way, please check out www.feedbirmingham.org to see what you can do. Together, we can make a difference and ensure people get the help and support they need.

This blog was posted on 11 June 2020

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