Winter of Compassion campaign to end West Midlands hunger

Birmingham MP contributes to help for foodbanks.

Liam Byrne MP this week launched a new Winter of Compassion campaign to help Midlands’ residents raise food donations for their local foodbanks.

The Birmingham MP was forced to develop new techniques for raising a tonne of food a month for his own Hodge Hill constituency foodbanks after uncovering a surge in Universal Credit roll-out amongst families which almost emptied their shelves last summer.

After promoting the campaign on social media, lots of people got in touch about how to follow suit. So Byrne has worked with The Trussell Trust to design a Macmillan Coffee Morning-style guide for anyone who wants to help make sure their local food banks have enough to feed hungry families.

The new campaign is launched with a new video featuring celebrities, like food writer and blogger Jack Monroe, Members of Parliament like Shabana Mahmood MP, trade unionists like TUC Regional Secretary Lee Baron, local councillors, community activists – and Big Issue seller, Smudger. Each tells a story about when a neighbour helped them in a time of need.

The pack can be obtained by signing up here, and includes a simple guide to setting up a collection box as well as stickers, posters and promotional material.

Liam Byrne said: “Demand for food banks is going through the roof – and right now, we have neighbours in need who just don’t know where the next meal is coming from. Over the last six months, we’ve been forced to pull out the stops in Hodge Hill, collecting for our foodbank heroes and so many people wanted to know how we did it, we thought it best to work with The Trussell Trust, to create a simple ‘how to’ kit.

“The reality is, there’s thousands of kind people out there who want to help but aren’t sure where to start. So, this is about making it as easy as possible to chip in and make sure no-one goes hungry this winter.

We’re launching this campaign with stories from people of all kinds of backgrounds about how a neighbour helped them, because we want to send a message. At times, anyone and everyone needs a neighbour – and right now, there’s thousands of our neighbours who need us Anyone can help make sure that no-one in their community goes hungry by hitting the link and getting one of our Winter of Compassion kits.”