‘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.'
Rob is in his 50s and lives on his own. He has a very weak immune system and is vulnerable so needed to shield during the pandemic. He lost his job when lockdown started, and his Universal Credit payment did not cover his bills and food. He was referred to Foodbank by Citizens Advice Wandsworth during the first lockdown.
‘I was doing a part time job, learning about kitchen fitting. I was getting paid a bit and then when coronavirus happened, I lost the work. I needed to find another job. Everything goes on my electricity bills so my payments cannot sustain me. I had £60 to survive for the month. It is not enough money to live on.
‘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.
‘The cost of electricity is very, very high. I tried to let EDF know this, but I am on a pay as you go phone which is expensive and I cannot hold on that long. Sometimes I have to do top ups to get data, I only use it for the most important things. I put the whole £60 on electricity and managed to survive from the food you gave me.
‘I applied to the [Wandsworth Council’s] Discretionary Social Fund and I still haven’t heard. They say there is a queue. I had a call from the health adviser at St George’s and they gave me £40 for a grant.
‘Overall, the Foodbank is efficient. It is for survival. It’s not the food you are used to, but it means you won’t die. There are some good things – without them I wouldn’t survive. I had no toilet tissue and they sorted me out with that. Bits and pieces.
‘ I want to get a job but there are no jobs out there at the moment. If the Foodbank gets very busy I would like to volunteer to help.’