With N.I payments on the increase, Petrol & Diesel already gone up by several pence per liter, Utility bills about to rapidly rise, and so so much more putting the squeeze on the financial stability on everyone every where who are already struggling to make ends meet, business still trying to recover from the beginning of Covid-19 pandemic, where does that leave everyone, food banks far and wide are under huge pressure not just us at Gillingham Street Angels but many other food banks are seeing a rapid increase in service users by the day. We get questioned many times about why we do not means test people for their eligibility for a food parcel, and the simple answer is "why should we put someone in more of an awkward situation that they are already in", if someone has braved the elements, the embarrassment in seeking help, queued for a long period of time for a couple of days or weeks worth of food then they are entitled to it. If, by us giving anyone that comes to our foodbank, relief from not having to worry about a food bill so they can cover rent, mortgage, fuel, utility's etc. and prevent people from spiraling into a horrendous back log of debt and put themselves at high risk of homelessness or worse to that effect, because it comes down to "do we buy food to eat" or "pay as much of the bills to keep a roof over our head" many would rather starve than lose a home to live in. We have gone from supporting a few of our homeless community to adding support on top of our homeless to literally anyone in need of that little extra help, we actually went from handing out 340-430 (approx.) meals and hot drinks to handing out 10,000 food parcels and ready meals a month and this figure is still rising each month. In just over 2 yrs we have approximately gained a staggering 9,660 new service users, which is a 2,841% increase of approximately 118.37% a month "in just 2 years".
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