You may have seen that my New Year's Resolution for 2015 was 'to undertake an act of kindness each month of the year'.
I'm a few days late in posting however January's Act of Kindness was to support my local food bank. I was really surprised at how grateful the operators were for the few bags of shopping I dropped by.
The Trussell Trust operate food banks all around the country. All food items are donated and are then sorted and given to those in need. People are referred to food banks in times of crisis by professionals such as doctors, health visitors and social workers. Three days worth of emergency food is given along with support and advice.
I first started thinking about supporting a cause like this a while ago when I read this blog post by Jack Monroe, 'Hunger Hurts'. Jack has since become hugely successful as a food blogger, campaigner and cookery book writer but it struck a chord that this is still the reality of every day life for thousands of people around the country.
When I was growing up there was a period of time when we literally had nothing. Some days the only money we had was a collection of pennies in the coin jar, my mum not knowing how she was going to feed 3 kids and pay the bills...
This was before everyone had the internet, or there were food banks in every city, and support networks were accessible for people in dire need. Like Jack, my mum struggled through the hardest times and we came out the other side, but for those who have hit rock bottom perhaps a donation of some cupboard staples are what will make all the difference.
You can find out where your local food banks are here. The website also has a handy shopping list of items they need most.
I'll be going back to my food bank again next month with some more donations but in the meantime I am going to think up a new Act of Kindness for February. Ideas welcome!!