Local MP joins food bank collection drive

Appeal for contributions during peak demand season.

Birmingham MP Roger Godsiff has joined the Trussell Trust and FareShare in a food donation appeal at Tesco to support local food banks. The Neighbourhood Food Collection is aiming to provide at least four million meals to people in need this summer.

Volunteers will be collecting food locally at branches of Tesco between Thursday 2nd July until Saturday 4th July, and Roger will be joining them at the Sheldon store on Saturday. The collection is particularly important in summer months, when many parents on free school meals face a tough time feeding their children over the long school break. The MP for Sparkbrook and Small Heath is encouraging constituents to join the volunteer teams or to donate food during their weekly shop.

He said: “The Trussell Trust and food banks in Birmingham do vital work in feeding people who would otherwise go hungry, including some of my own constituents. I have had to refer some extremely vulnerable people to food banks after they were let down by state support systems that failed to function adequately. A particularly appalling case was a family with refugee status who had a severely disabled child, who due to DWP’s utter lack of care or responsibility were almost left without food over a weekend. I was able to refer them to a local food bank, which responded with compassion and provided this family with the food they needed until their benefits were paid the following week.

“Despite my great admiration for the work done by food banks, I do not believe that anyone should have to rely on food aid to survive, particularly in a country as wealthy as the UK. The state has a responsibility to support those who are too ill to work or who are looking for work in a very tough jobs market, and employers have a responsibility to pay their workers enough to live on with dignity and without needing food hand-outs. Sadly, at present both are failing to fulfil these responsibilities.

“Although I am pleased to be able to take part in this food collection drive and I appreciate the efforts made by all those involved in it, I would like to see a future in which everyone has secure access to food and no one is at risk of food poverty or in need of hand-outs.”