‘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.'
Joanna lives with her husband, son, daughter and grandchild. Her husband has severe mental and physical health problems. Joanna cares for him full time. She was referred to a Foodbank by her GP during lockdown. She says:
‘I cannot work as I am a full-time carer – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I have to care for my husband and I get carers allowance for him [of around £60/week]. My husband has only been able to leave the house for blood tests and we have to get a cab to do that which costs money.
‘Normally my husband would be at the day centre and then I turn all the electrics off, but the day centre is shut so the electricity bill has gone up. Because of his health problems he is freezing cold all the time so we have to have the heating on all the time. He doesn’t really move so he gets really cold. We had a council gas fire in the front room but they condemned it a few years ago so we have to have the heating on.
‘My husband has paranoia. When my daughter goes out to get food she has to go to the local shop at the moment, and that is more expensive. He is scared when she goes out so he wants us all to stay in. Usually we would buy cheaper brands but we had to shop in local shops which are way more expensive.
‘The GP phoned and asked how I was and he put in a food bank voucher for me. It has made us have very unusual meals but we have not missed any meals. It has been good to do that.
‘I would rate the Foodbank 5 star. It just came in the nick of time and helped us out no end. They were very happy when they delivered to us, and addressed me by name. And the people on the phone did too.
‘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.’