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.