We're so grateful to each person who shares their story with us, so we can share it with you.
‘Because of my mental health condition, asking for help is difficult, so the food bank provides me with a safe space to be able to talk and to find help.’
‘The food bank made such a difference – it was the only support I had all year’
‘We’re very worried about having empty shelves and not being able to feed our child.’
‘If it wasn’t for the Foodbank, I would have faced some serious problems. I had to borrow from my previous boss, I begged him. It has been tough. The Foodbank saved me from missing meals.
During the pandemic, Beatrice couldn’t afford to pay her bills or buy essentials while she waited more than five weeks for first payment of Universal Credit. She was referred to Wandsworth Foodbank by Citizens Advice Wandsworth.
‘I had an interview lined up just before lockdown for a shop security job, but then the shops were all closed so the interview was postponed… There was one month where I couldn’t afford essentials and pay bills, so I had to turn to the Foodbank.’
‘It is best if you need the Foodbank that you don’t leave it until you have nothing. But you don’t want to ask for help before you need it.’
Amira and her children have lived in one room in a hotel for more than six months, placed there by social services after fleeing domestic violence. The children’s primary school referred them to our food bank.
‘It was really hard all winter, having to cut back on heating. I was in such pain with my leg because of the cold, and the flat got damp and covered in black mould because I couldn’t heat it. I had to keep using the food bank so I had enough food to eat.’
Clara was employed full-time until she became unwell. After being refused disability benefit, she was told to apply for Universal Credit. Clara waited six weeks for first payment and had to take a £100 Advance. By this time, Clara was facing mounting service charge on her home and fuel debts, and didn’t have enough money for food.
Bill, in his early 60s, worked on a building site until a blister from new work boots led to an ulcerated leg and he was laid off. Soon afterwards he and his wife separated and he became homeless. He was referred to the Foodbank by Wandsworth Council.
Matthew was referred to Wandsworth Foodbank by a job centre adviser after a life-threatening illness and emergency surgery meant he was unable to work – and then his disability benefits were wrongly stopped.