Preston support worker Louise Taylor skipped her usual night out to donate a huge hamper of food to the Foxton Centre food bank.Advertisement
She posted the picture of the generous offering to Facebook and quickly received huge support from friends. The donation came in response to concerns about the results of the general election.
She said: “I was feeling very deflated & concerned about the election results so ended up spending my weekend mostly reflecting on what it realistically meant to those around me.
“So decided to spend the money I would have normally spent on a night out on items for the food bank instead. It seemed fitting.”
The Foxton Centre works with rough sleepers, sex workers and other people in the community who need support. They currently operate a food bank where people can get access to emergency food parcels.
The decision isn’t entirely driven by the results of the general election.
Louise said: “Politics aside, I believe that the way a community gets stronger is with people supporting each other and looking out for each other.
“I’m a huge fan of grass-roots projects and people being proud and passionate about their local area. We shouldn’t demonise people who are struggling; some people are struggling through no fault of their own and some people may have made wrong decisions in the past but who hasn’t?
“Some wrong decisions just have more serious consequences than others.”
Over the past few years, the use of food banks has grown rapidly across the UK. In the past 12 months, over 900,000 people have received a three day parcel from a food bank, compared to just over 60,000 in 2010.
Louise continued: “Some would say that contributing to such causes reinforces the ‘big society’ idea which gives the people in power the justification for welfare cuts but what’s the alternative? Leaving people to struggle/suffer in the present in the hope that the cuts won’t be made in the future?
“I don’t believe that’s an option for many of us.”
The use of food banks has received criticism from certain parts of society. Michael Gove, Conservative MP and Justice Secretary, has hinted that those in need only have themselves to blame while professional troll Katie Hopkins said: “They are giving free food to dependents who have honed their blagging skills from years on the take.”
This is something that Louise doesn’t agree with. She said: “Food banks don’t just hand out masses of food left, right and centre.
“You need to be referred to be able to obtain a parcel and the number of referrals is limited.
“I can imagine that it is unfortunately a very humiliating and difficult process to go through in order to receive your parcel and I believe the majority of cases are absolutely genuine.”
To help The Foxton Centre with either food, toiletries, raffle prizes or donations click here