Visit to the Wokingham Food bank


            The Foodbank opens on Fridays at 1.30pm. On Friday December 20th when I at last had a Friday in the constituency after a run of unusual Fridays with the EU Referendum Bill to attend in London, I went to visit.

            I would like to thank the helpers and volunteers who work there, and those who have given  to help pay for the facility. The organisers  would welcome more assistance.

            The purpose of a Foodbank is to offer some supplementary help to the very considerable sums available through social housing and the benefit system when people in financial difficulty need something extra to put food on the table. It is not a substitute for the many actions government undertakes to try to help people out of poverty and into better and more stable lives. The Food bank can give people some  food on three different occasions to top up benefits or low pay when the family budget is in crisis.

            I am keen to support the many government initiatives that are designed to offer long term help to get people out of financial difficulty. The best way is to help those of working age into a job. There are also programmes to help people off drugs and alcohol, as addictive behaviour is often at the base of family financial crises and contributes to the break up of families. Local Wokingham Social Services and Housing can help people in need, as can the Department of Work and Pensions through Jobcentres.

                 None of this is a new problem. I was told the main cause of trouble in Wokingham is unemployment. It is therefore good news that the unemployment rate is now very low and there are jobs available to help  those who are struggling with the family budget.

                The Foodbank has its own website and is at 10 Rose Street, Wokingham.

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  1. Antisthenes
    Posted December 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Since food banks became big news the numbers using them have increased dramatically. The left of course will tell you gleefully that it is because poverty is increasing. The cynic will tell you it is because most are taking advantage of something for nothing or using food money to buy other things.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:12 am | Permalink

      The cynic will tell you it is because most are taking advantage of something for nothing or using food money to buy other things.

      Given that people can’t use a food bank unless referred to it by a doctor or the Jobcentre, and can only get food from it 3 times a year the cynic is clearly wrong.

  2. rd
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I am sure your constituents welcome your support.

  3. Posted December 27, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure most of the pople in Wokingham are not cynics, and their support for the work of the food bank in the town is surely enough evidence of that. What most people seem to be unaware of is that food banks really seek to cover a crisis in their clients lives, most of whom are referred by an aid agency, including churches, schools, local government social and tenant services and other organisations qualified to make a referral. The help is short-term, and over 95% of our clients visit once or twice only. There is no choice of food, clients do not “shop” at the food bank, they are given a food parcel of suitable size for their families designed to feed them for 3 days. The majority of our clients are close to tears when they visit, ashamed that their lives have hit such a low. We don’t judge, we don’t lecture, our only aim is to make sure that they, and their families, particularly the children, have enough to eat. Not too much to ask in a wealthy town like Wokingham. That said we are very grateful that John Redwood spared some of his valuable time to visit us and to see how we operate, thank you John.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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