Monday, 18 November 2013

Want to Make a Difference Blogfest by helping with emergency food?


This winter and then ongoing into 2014 extreme food poverty will affect many of us across the UK ... I had no idea that 13 million, out of a total population of 70 million, are on or below the poverty line ...
 
Remember to give to
others blogfest ... 

I have been aware of the recent talk and articles on food banks – there are 'baskets' to collect food in the supermarkets, and I’ve noticed a food bank sign near where I have my car serviced.


So MJJoachim and Tina’s invitation to participate in this blogfest seemed a good idea ... please join us ... so many people in our local community, locality need our help ...


I had heard of the Trussell Trust and seen/heard snippets about their work on the tv or radio ... but had not looked into the organisation or found out how the Trust got started.


Then there was a link across to The Cinnamon Network – and what they were about ... you do live and learn – well I do!


The Cinnamon Network is the catalyser here ... it was/is Christian based, but now encompasses all churches and denominations of peoples who wish to make a difference.



“Rather than come up with an idea and ask God to ‘bless it’ the approach adopted was to see what God was doing and join in. 

It was observed that local churches responding to local needs were developing successful local community transformation projects which other local churches began to replicate.

Powerful examples of this included Street Pastors which developed from Brixton, Foodbank in Salisbury and CAP debt advice emerging from Bradford.

The closest marketplace model to this approach was commercial franchising however the projects were not for commercial benefit but community benefit so they were described as Community Franchising.”



Foods recommended
for donation
TheTrussell Trust let us know why people need emergency food – because of redundancy, illness, benefit delay, domestic violence, debt, family breakdown and paying for the additional costs of heating during winter are just some of the reasons many go hungry.


So if we can donate something every time we go to the supermarket – it will brighten someone’s life ... and perhaps save a life ... suicide can be a considered alternative ... life at this stage desperately needs comfort and support.


Each food box the foodbank gives out contains a minimum of 3 days nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food ...


I saw in one of the local churches recently requests for other items specific to the needs of the community – often these will be baby foods, nappies etc ..


So at this time ... with Thanksgiving coming first, Christmas following and the New Year – let us give something to lighten others’ loads ... and then make sure we continue on ...


This country raised (pledged) over £31 million for Children in Need last week, while we also raised £33 million for the Philippines Disaster Fund ... and we will come together to help our own during the coming winter – that will be bleak for some ... small supplies of regular food will always help.


There are over 400 food banks and I expect these will grow in towns where, for now, there is no presence ... 


I found reading about these two organisations very heart-rending, yet warming ... as people reach out to help.



There are also soup kitchens and many other volunteers who are doing so much for their local communities ...


I also spotted two breadline bloggers in the Telegraph magazine, Stella ... I don’t normally buy the Telegraph – but was glad I did for the information on these two breadline bloggers ...

As the magazine quotes:  One feeds her young son and herself for less than £10 per week, another made it his mission to eat like a king on a shoestring budget when his world fell apart.

Meet the breadline bloggers whose brilliantly inventive recipes are going down a storm ...

Jack Monroe’s blog: A Girl called Jack.com  

Tony’s blog:  TheSkint Foodie.com 

 
c/o Entyce Creative
Give tins instead of tinsel
And still there are all the peoples of this world who suffer, or have, from drought, flooding, disasters of various sorts ... and now the tornado storm that has ripped through middle America ...


Let’s do what we can to alleviate others’ lives ... so they can develop a positive spirit and be inspired to help others ...

Thank you ...





Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

63 comments:

Murees Dupé said...

This is fantastic initiative and it is wonderful of you to shed light on it.

Tina said...

Thanks so much for your wonderful contribution to the blogfest. Great spotlight on several wonderful organizations.
You did a great job of encouraging, and shedding light on WHY so many folks need help these days. Thanks a mill, Hils.
Tina @ Life is Good

Old Kitty said...

Every weekend at my local Waitrose, there's a foodbank collection. I think it's such a great idea - and it's also lovely to see people do a little extra shop to donate to those collecting! One nice thing - I mistakenly placed one of my cat food tubs in the collection - was totally mortified and was apologising profusely as I attempted to take it back but the nice person said they'd accept the cat food as well as the families they help may have pets too. I thought, aww that's so nice!

Take care
x

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I am always happy to give food but I do not like giving money as I often wonder what it buys and where it goes. My husband was Rotary for many years and I knew what they collected went where it should. There are though many stories of other collectors and fiddles, I need proof!
My favourite charity though is Lifeboats, something I inherited from my parents, they always gave generously. Any animal charity also always has me well and truly hooked. Have a good week Diane

Jo said...

In North Carolina there used to be a programme whereby one could pay towards another's electric bill - electricity is so expensive these days.

I tend to support World Wildlife Fund though. I feel animals need our help especially in view of the trade in exotic animals.

Mike Goad said...

I often read of the rising energy costs in the UK and EU. When I then hear about dreadful winter weather and temperatures there, I wonder about the fate of those who cannot afford to adequately heat their homes.

M. J. Joachim said...

I really like the Cinnamon Network…see what God's doing and join in. That's so cool. You've touched on so many important things in this post. Thank you, Hilary. I'm so glad you joined this blogfest!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Murees - I too was just interested to find out more about these two organisations ...

@ Tina - pleasure to join in to help a worthy cause blogfest. The reasons 'why' people are in need are so often forgotten as people hit the bottom ... or are caught in a never ending spiral down ... I'm certain your raising this awareness through the blogfest will help many ...

@ Old Kitty - yes in our Waitrose too, and Tescos ... I don't often use the others ... I'd like them to put a sign up reminding us that as we shop to buy for the Food bank too ... I forget til I'm going through the tills.

Interesting about your cat food - I'm sure they do have pets ... but pleased it was taken for a much loved pet ... isn't it good to know ...

@ Diane - I'm like you .. I select my causes ... but the foodbanks call my heart-strings. Yes we've had family connections with Rotary - I know they help young carers, and the blind amongst many others ... but I agree re the fiddles - and steer clear.

The Lifeboats is a favourite as well, and I do support African wildlife particularly ...

@ Jo - that's a helpful idea ... helping towards another's electric bill ... heating is exorbitant today.

I agree .. I also support the WWF ...

@ Mike - we could do with some of your energy right now - it's a muddle over here ... and the homes aren't terribly heat-proof - so I can concur with your thoughts ... it's not easy for many.

@ MJ - I was pleased I found out more about the two organisations ... and it was interesting to learn about them and their approach to help.

Pleasure .. I felt this was a blog-fest I'd be happy to participate in .. and it's proved to be just that - I've learnt and appreciated peoples' hardships at this time ...


Cheers to you all .. there are so many other causes out there .. some of your thoughts are just so interesting ... thanks for coming by - Hilary

Lynn said...

I support the local missions and food banks around Atlanta. Good that you are doing that in the UK, too. So many things going on around the world right now - it's overwhelming. I like hearing how others' are helping out.

Crystal Collier said...

I love this cause! We are engaged in our own local donations, and I think every person can make a difference. Here's to generous hearts!

J Q Rose said...

So much great information in your post. The people all over the world can make such a difference by donating just a little to these groups whether it's their time, money, or a few cans of food. Thanks for sharing!

Manzanita said...

Many stores around here ask for a small percentage of their bill to be donated to "foodshare." Or if you bring your own bag, ten cents will be donated. You put a wealth of information in this post. I wish food share would have bolunteers to teach nutritional classes. I've noticed that so many of these people don't know what healthy meals consist of. I would try to start something but I lack the energy with old age. Ha

Morgan said...

I love volunteering at the Food Bank... it's such a neat experience. Wonderful post, Hilary. It really does come down to individual people wanting to make a difference.

Bish Denham said...

We have several different ways of donating food where I live. I do what I can... It's not much, but every little bit helps.

rosaria williams said...

Hunger knows no borders.
Donating and volunteering at a local food bank will help many souls especially during the holiday season. Instead of asking your grandchildren what they would like for Christmas, ask them if they would like to make someone's Christmas special by filling out the wishes of another child. Food banks at Christmas have Giving Trees, a way to connect two families at this critical time.

Gattina said...

We have exactly the same problem here. Since a few years we have restaurants for the very poor where they get a warm meal and each year there are more people. It's so sad !

Christine Rains said...

Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing this with us. I've seen a lot of churches and food banks here run out of food. We always give for the big holidays.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow they raised a lot of money! Even more for the Philippines, which is great.

M Pax said...

Great for all the efforts going on.

Times are still hard on a lot of folks. Me and mine included. With all the hate heaped on people struggling, it makes it worse.

Friko said...

For this post to follow straight on from the last one is quite ironical. From the have-far-too-much to the have-nothing.

Your initial statistic is a frightening one. even in an idyllic village like mine there is a collection point in the doctor’s surgery and other places.

We really should all add a small present for those who have nothing every time we buy one for someone in the family or friends’ circle.

Awful to think that there will be people going hungry when so many of us are going to sit down to an overabundant Christmas dinner.

Janie Junebug said...

So many people suffering. So many children go to bed hungry. I donate to a variety of food-based causes, but it's never enough.

Love,
Janie

Patsy said...

It's alarming that there's such a need for these services.

Sherry Ellis said...

It's so nice that there are missions to support those who are less fortunate!

Julia Hones said...

Thanks for the reminder, Hilary.
We do have wonderful options to help here at the local coop where I do my groceries.
Nice post.

Rhonda Albom said...

Those statistics are really frightening. This is such a wonderful and caring post. Thanks for reminding us.

Michelle Wallace said...

There are so many starving people. It's really shocking to see the poverty which is all over the world, and so many children are caught in this vicious cycle...
You've highlighted some wonderful initiatives, Hilary.
Writer In Transit

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn - I know you do your volunteering work and it's so good that so many quietly help out, of which you are one ...

@ Crystal - thanks to MJ and Tina this blogfest came about .. and it's great to know you're involved in your town, and being generous with your time and help ..

@ JQ - good to meet you via this blogfest - I was glad to write it and learn a little more .. and now I'll look for the food bank container as I go in to the store for my donation on the way out.

@ Manzanita - there are local initiatives aren't there and your "food share" sounds another alternative ...

Interestingly one of the goals of the Trussell Trust is to start a series of courses helping people to learn to cook nutritional meals ... I'm sure that will be rolled out during 2014 ... thus saving time and money ...

@ Morgan - good to see you ... and that's fabulous that you volunteer too .. as you say it's up to us -who want to help ...

@ Bish - you're right each area and country has different ways of helping - but every little makes a difference to someone.

@ Rosaria - Hunger knows no borders .. so right.

Lots of generous children do give and share their Christmas presents and money by giving to children with little. The idea of connecting two families together and sharing Christmas sounds a great one ...

@ Gattina - yes I'm sure it's similar in Belgium .. and there are restaurants here who help too and churches who offer meals.

@ Christine - sadly I suspect they will run out of food .. there are more and more desperate people ..

@ Alex - Children in Need is an excellent charity, while disaster funds always bring in very generous donations ...

@ Mary - it is wonderful what people do for others in need .. and times are hard, let alone the hate as you mention ... so very sad and difficult .. a little just helps along the way ...

@ Friko - I realised there was some incongruity .. but at the moment things are happening at the same time or near enough - so kept on writing!

I was shocked at the statistics ... and am sure there is hardship in each corner of little Britain - as you've just highlighted.

That's a good idea to buy an extra something for someone in need ... I do do that and this year will add the hospice in ...

Over indulging is something we could avoid doing .. and give that spare cash to a needy cause ...

I spotted that others are giving up something for a week ... and then donating that cash to the needy ...

@ Janie - that's great to know you are already helping out so much .. but as you say it is never enough ..

@ Patsy - there's a lot of poverty out there .. thankfully we in this country can provide some back up support ..

@ Sherry - I'm glad to say many organisations and missions are out there helping where they are needed ..

@ Julia - that's good that you're doing what you can to help your local families ...

@ Rhonda - the stats really worried me ... I would love everyone with too much to give just a little, particularly those that think they don't have too much.

@ Michelle - it is the children who often suffer and get caught up ... we at least have some form of support system for most people .. but the world's problems are exceedingly challenging ..

It was interesting to find out about the Cinnamon Network and the Food Bank, which was relevant to MJ's and Tina's blogfest ... while finding out about the two blogs was interesting ...

Thanks everyone - so pleased this blogfest has reminded us of others who need our help, and who probably are local and within our community. Hilary

Elise Fallson said...

I always give to the food bank when they're present at our local grocery, but I can't help but feel it's never enough. I hope all the funds raised for the Philippines go to help those in need, so many suffering, so many have lost everything....what a terrible disaster.

TALON said...

So many great causes and so many different ways to help out... This time of year is particularly hard for those less fortunate. Thank you for pointing out so many great ways to help out, Hilary. Especially when there are disasters that really need immediate support.

Kittie Howard said...

Thanks, Hillary, this fab post (so many wonderful ways to help others), for your fab comments and for checking out my book. AND thank you for knowing I just had to throw my hands up and go with life's flow. All these years later, I haven't figured out anything else to do, LOL!

You're truly a lovely lady with a big heart.

mail4rosey said...

I love that you're promoting this!

We collect food and winter jackets for kids (if I see one on sale any time of the year I snag it) and donate to the shelters at Christmas time. The kids love to do it, and I hope they always do.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Bless you for highlighting these programs. Offering a helping hand isn't just a "nice" thing to do; it's the right thing.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elise - I looked today and the foodbank bins weren't there - it's not the usual place I visit.

I agree it is never enough and there are so many organisations to give to .. especially the Philippines a devastation area to put it mildly ..

@ Talon - as you say so many causes, and often we forget our local communities - where there is a lot of poverty.

My post sort of opened the giving idea up ... I hope - thanks ..

@ Kittie - pleasure about the comments and book purchase at your site ...

So many lives to help ...

While our falls .. one on our backside, and me on my face .. just show we have to laugh at ourselves sometimes, especially when we have both experienced much worse times of poverty ..

@ Rosey - it's a pleasure it's all down to MJ and Tina ..

That's a great idea that you pick up things during the year for the Shelters and Kids in Need over the following winter ... I'm sure the kids love it .. what a great way of giving ..

@ Susan - it's thanks to MJ and Tina - but I was so interested in finding out more about the two programmes I highlighted - they deserve the attention ..

Cheers to everyone .. and I'm sure all commenters will be giving more to their local communities this year - thanks - Hilary

loverofwords said...

Thank you for reminding us to look for ways in our own communities to help those who need our help, food especially. What could be more basic?

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

You're the best Hilary! WE're doing a food benefit yoga class in the park this coming Sunday. Always a shock to learn how many are going hungry.

Mark Koopmans said...

“Rather than come up with an idea and ask God to ‘bless it’ the approach adopted was to see what God was doing and join in."

That is my quote for the week :) Thanks for all the effort in raising awareness of a great charity in the U.K.

Aloha and stay curious, my friend:)

Stephen Tremp said...

I love this Blogfest and will post on Thursday. I have volunteered at pantries and participated when I needed to fill in the gaps and help feed my family.

Food pantries (as I call them) are near and dear to me. Glad to see others supporting them too.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Thanks for highlighting these wonderful charities Hilary. It is so important to help others, and simply donating items at the supermarket couldn't be easier.

Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Tasha - it's good to remember those who live amongst us - it's easy to hear and see the appeals on radio/tv for overseas aid .. but those nearer home need our help too ..

@ Melissa - that's brilliant .. a friend here raised money for the Philippines with one of her yoga classes .. but locally with local people is such a great idea ..

@ Mark - yes that sentence is powerful isn't it .. and there will be more charity raising, volunteering needed in the coming months ..

Stay curious .. I don't think you can keep me from always looking at things!

@ Julie - the way each food bank has been set up is simple to follow and thus contribute to ..

Thanks to you all .. each donation will help ... Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephen .. so sorry - my eye slipped past your comment!!

I'll see you tomorrow then for your posting - it's a good blogfest to be a part of .. isn't it.

I know you do a fair share of volunteer work .. and have experienced the need to help feed your family ... so Food Pantries make sense to you ..

I look forward to reading your post and hearing about Orange County's food pantries .. cheers Hilary

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Thanks for putting a spotlight on this need and this charity, Hilary! Incredibly important. My son belongs to a service organization that organizes and collects food for drives. There is a real need for food in local pantries, since the supply has been low here--frequently families with children seem to be in need.

Isis Rushdan said...

Very informative post for such a great cause. Thanks for helping to bring attention to it.

Sara said...

Once thing I always love about the British is the willingness to help others.

You speak well for them with this post. It's full of ideas for how to make someone's life better during the holidays and well, that's what it should be all about:~)

Thanks Hilary and cheers to you.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Hilary. Thanks for sharing about these organizations. The needs of food banks seems to get greater and greater each year.

Nicki Elson said...

This blogfest is a fantastic idea. How awesome would it be if we could get those pantries filled up to last the whole year.

Denise Covey said...

So much need across the globe, but it is heart warming that people do what they can to assist. Great idea for a blogfest. D

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elizabeth - that's wonderful to hear of the work your son is doing - a great lesson for children to learn and see how organisations like that work. The need is going to get worse I suspect .. we just need to add to the food pantries as best we can ..

@ Isis - good to meet you .. and raising awareness of the plight found in our own locality, especially for helping towards a meal.

@ Sara - we, the British, always do seem to come out to help - and I sure hope we can put our hands in our pockets for those in hunger this winter .. as there will be many .. and yes giving is so important ..

@ Susanne - you're right .. all over the world in rich and poor countries - some food is the absolute basic need of many ..

@ Nicki - thanks to MJ and Tina for promoting it ..

Re filling the pantries up for a year - I think might be a bit of a shock .. lack of shelf space! - but a wonderful, wonderful idea ...

@ Denise - I'm sure Australia and NZ have similar challenges - it's so often our own in our towns and cities we can easily forget about ..

Thanks everyone - so heart-warming to see you all encouraging us to be ever generous and to remember all the time ..

Of course if we're not 'well-fed' other challenges can't be overcome either ..

Appreciate all the help we can give - Hilary

Karen Lange said...

This is a wonderful idea! Will check out the links. Thanks so much! :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tara Tyler said...

we definitely need to join together and help those less fortunate. times are tough, but tougher for so many!

thanks for bringing this to light!

Juliet Batten said...

What a wonderful post, Hilary, reminding us to share our abundance. I like that idea of seeing what God is doing and join in. Have just given 2 donations this week to Oxfam, one to East Timor and one for the Phillipines. It's so important to give. Thank you for a timely reminder and inspiration.

Davina said...

Hi Hilary.

It's wonderful that you're promoting this. I hesitate to give money because it's difficult to trust where the money will go. But I will willingly donate food. On occasion, I've brought food to people on the street. I love the name Cinnamon Network.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Karen - there's lots of places in the States .. but I like to put some British links, as I know where I can find them. Food banks and pantries need all the help they can get ..

@ Tara - yes the more we can collectively .. the easier it will be for some and give them some hope ..

@ Juliet - you're right there .. to share our abundance and give of our time .. I like your choices and it's the right time of year for giving ..

@ Davina - yay welcome back! I don't like giving money much either .. however the food banks seem such a good cause in times of austerity .. but there is a much larger range of volunteers out there for people on the streets - so they do have somewhere to go .. even if for a short time .. and can get advice and help if they need it ..

Isn't that name great .. The Cinnamon Network ...

Cheers everyone - wonderful to see you all with your kind hearts - Hilary

Southpaw said...

Always a great reminder. The local food banks and "stops" are starting to set up. It's a great time to become more visible.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Holly .. an essential, for those of us that can help, this year ...

Good for you looking out for the food banks/stops ..

Thank you - Hilary

Robyn Campbell said...

The circle Hil. If the world would just stand in a circle and join hands what great things could be accomplished. Thank you for being so caring. I heart you pal. I hope you know that.

Silvia Villalobos said...

Love the faces of those kids .. happy with their after-school activities. Great concept and initiative. Certainly makes one wish such a visit were possible.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Robyn ... lovely sentiment ... I sure hope we, as a peoples in this world, can be at peace ...

Let's join the circle of peace ...

@ Silvia - Thanks and I think you're referring to the next post with the Fairview workers' children at their after-school activities. A visit would be wonderful, I agree ..

Cheers to you both - Hilary

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I like that saying, "No one has ever become poor from giving."

A local TV station reported on a project to help Senior Citizens. Businesses set up Christmas trees decorated with handwritten tags from needy elderly people. People buy the item on the tag, and it's delivered to the person.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan - and it's so right isn't it .. we become richer from giving, not poorer.

I like the idea of your local tv station - that sounds a brilliant idea ... and something relevant being given to the Senior Citizen.

Thanks so much .. love this thought ... cheers Hilary

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Hilary,

It boggles the mind how in this day and age that millions of people go hungry.

Thankfully organization like this exist to help. But it's never enough.

Walking the streets of Chicago, I see homeless and hungry people every day. it' so sad. Thankfully Panera bread offer free hot meals to anyone in need. I live a few block away. The food is amazing and their baked good incredible. Even when I go in there, they say pay what you can. Of course, I pay more to help the less fortunate.

Every little bit helps, right?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Michael - life is really quite difficult for some - especially now that we have so much poverty within our developed countries.

Your Panera shop sounds incredible - what a great generous place to have for the many hungry and homeless people. We have soup kitchens etc .. and I'm sure restaurants help out where they can with left over vegetables and fruits ...

Every little helps - so so true ..

Good to see you - cheers Hilary

Sue Travers said...

What a beautiful post Hilary. We have the mesh baskets outside supermarkets and assorted other ways to help those suffering. Good on you for shedding light on the plight of far too many people in what are perceived as affluent countries.
Cheers
Sue

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue .. I enjoyed finding out how the Food Bank got started - that was an interesting learning curve, and then all the other component ancillary charity organisations associated with the Cinnamon Network.

The churches are always requesting other funds and goodies .. those that don't have over here are really struggling ..

Cheers to you too .. thanks for commenting ... Hilary