Over the past couple of months, Year 9 students from Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) have been working closely with North Bristol Foodbank and several local primary schools. Their aim has been to raise awareness about local food poverty and to collect food for the foodbank’s new distribution centre in Filton.
The students – Ben Maxted, Connor Maule, Heidi Sermulins and Chloe Webster – were inspired to take action after visiting the Foodbank distribution centre and finding out how the charity works. The idea that people are in need so close to them made them want to get involved and do something to help.
As a result, they have organised food collections, not only at BSCS, but also at three local primary schools. With help from the Foodbank representatives they have led assemblies at BSCS, as well as at Meadowbrook, St Mary’s and Bowsland Green primary schools. During these events, they shared information about the charity, increased the children’s understanding by leading some games and encouraged other young people to help.
Tony Matthews, Joint Foodbank Manager, said:
“It has been inspiring to see these young people owning this initiative and getting involved themselves in very practical ways, from sharing in assemblies to packing food at the distribution centre. We are really grateful for the huge amount of food collected that will help people in crisis points in life.”
The collections in all four schools have been really successful with a combined total of just over half a tonne of food (552kg) collected.
Claire Wilson, Assistant Head (Community) at BSCS, said:
“This joint work has had so many positive results. Not only has there been a lot of food collected for a very worthwhile charity, but also the confidence of the young people involved has grown enormously as they have seen the effects of the work they have done. We very much look forward to further developing this link with the North Bristol Foodbank in the future.”
Photo 1: BSCS students organise food at North Bristol Foodbank.
Photo 2: BSCS students share information about North Bristol Foodbank with children at Meadowbrook Primary School.
More information about North Bristol Foodbank and the nationwide network of foodbanks:
- North Bristol Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust’s UK Foodbank Network. The Trussell Trust is currently launching four new UK foodbanks every week to meet demand and fed 128,697 people nationwide in 2011-12, double the numbers fed in 2010-11.
- Trussell Trust foodbanks provide a minimum of three days emergency food to people in crisis. Over 90% of food given out by foodbanks is donated by the public and every foodbank recipient is referred by a frontline care professional such as a doctor, social worker or schools liaison officer.
- Foodboxes typically contain items such as tinned fruit and vegetables, tinned meat and fish, pasta, sauces, long-life juice, UHT milk, cereal, tea, rice pudding, biscuits and soup.
- 1 in 5 people live below the poverty line in the UK.
- Less than 5% of foodbank clients are homeless, many are working families struggling to make ends meet.
- Reasons given for people being referred to Trussell Trust foodbanks in 2011-12 included benefit delay, low income, delayed wages, domestic violence, sickness, unemployment, debt, benefit changes, refused crisis loans, homelessness and absence of free school meals during school holidays.
- All those who receive emergency food are referred by frontline care professionals such as doctors, social workers and Citizens Advice Bureau.
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