By being a bridge between you and the needy, Peoples Needs UK is taking responsibility to make a difference to the lives of needy families. We are helping struggling families in need to become stronger by providing them with a basic food pack that would last 2-3 months. This would provide families with the generally required staple non-perishable food items that can be stored and used to cook in daily meals. For example, rice, pasta, flour, cooking oil, spices, tins, lentils, etc.
We are helping the local community with food and would like to nourish as many families as we can in the area. The people that are in need of food are referred to us by community representatives and then the families or individuals in need go through a needs assessment process so that we can verify and also understand the requirements of these people. We go through each family one by one for a tailored approach and understand that feeding hundreds is not possible but we are trying to make a difference with the families that are referred to us.
By looking deeper into community issues of hunger we would like to be a support system to families, as families are truly the key to building stronger communities. As much as we would like to wipe out world hunger and believe that nobody should ever be without food, we can only practically support some families for some time. However, we are hopeful in building systems that can have long-term positive effects in helping these families to become independent and self-reliant.
This is where our programme of 'Nourishing Minds' comes in, these are tailored workshops to help with their needs. We are helping families with their individual struggles that they are facing so that they can face their challenges with our guidance and support. The aim of this programme is to guide people in order to lift people out of food poverty.
Families are at the heart of communities and it is fundamental to understand the needs of families to empower individuals and families together in order to create stronger communities.
Changing times in the UK have changed the circumstances for many families, leaving them to face new challenges that they struggle to cope with and adjust to. Financial changes, welfare reforms and increasing costs of living have left some families without basic food on their table. This is leading to a rise in food poverty.
The number of families being affected has increased over the years and a recent UK Poverty report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) highlights that:
"14 million people live in poverty in the UK - over one in five of the population."
(Source: Helen Barnard, 'UK Poverty 2017,' JRF Analysis Unit, JRF, December 2017)
Such a large number is alarming and stresses the growing problem in the UK. Not having basic needs, like food, has resulted in more need for the use of food banks. This is an unfortunate reality that is happening now in the UK and is caused by many reasons. The main fact is that it is happening to real people.
These people come from various backgrounds and have different circumstances that affect them. Some families may even be hidden from society, it may seem like they are living a happy normal life on the outside, however in reality they may be concealing the fact that they are scraping by and in great need of help. This creates further complexities as they may not wish to be helped due to factors around shame. These various families are real people and no matter what they may face they require support on different levels.
Such families can range from struggling single mothers to an elderly person that is finding it difficult to make ends meet by just living on a basic pension. For instance, a struggling mother that has 5 children all under the age of 10 has suffered domestic violence throughout her marriage and has finally plucked up the courage to leave the marriage fleeing to safety with her children. So now this mother is in great need as she has to start from scratch with her young children in a new location. One cannot fully imagine the challenges this single mother would be facing in the new transitions of her life. The use of a food bank would seem a luxury to this mother as her benefits are not enough to meet all her basic living needs with her children.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."
(Source: Mother Teresa, 'Mother Teresa Quotes,' Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Catholic Online)
We would like to encourage you to join us in this work for humanity in spreading joy in communities through food and to help build stronger family systems. If you are unable to support many families in your community, then please take responsibility in supporting at least one family by serving the hungry the gift of food.