On Saturday I met the fantastic staff and some wonderful Oldham residents who turned out for the collection drive for the Oldham Foodbank. It was really uplifting to meet the staff and volunteers there and see such generosity from local people supporting each other.
It is also sad to see the increase in the numbers of people who are struggling to feed themselves and to look after their basic needs. The demand at Oldham’s Foodbank has increased by 44% in the last year and the biggest increase has come from people reliant on social security support, many of whom are working. Oldham Foodbank’s records show that 65% of the people coming to them for help are desperate because of benefit sanctions.
No-one should be in any doubt that there is a severe cost-of-living crisis which is down to the Coalition Government. On average wages are down £1600 a year compared with 2010 and costs have increased; energy prices are up nearly £300 a year since 2010 and food prices up 32% since 2007.
This weekend’s collection drive was organised after Oldham Foodbank noticed that people are short of basic hygienic products like soap and toothpaste. Even though we were able to add these much needed supplies the demand remains so, if you can spare any of the products, you can make a donation taking it along to 24 Clegg Street Oldham OL1 1PL. Donations of tinned fruit and veg, sugar, tinned fish and meat are also needed to ensure no Oldhamer goes without.
Click here to see a shopping list of supplies that are needed.