1.3 MILLION FOOD BANK PARCELS WERE HANDED OUT BY THE TRUSSELL TRUST IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS LAST YEAR, to people who would have gone hungry if not for charitable help.
I've been a food bank user myself. I'm only here today because of the kindness of strangers - donating food, distributing it, identifying that I was struggling and helping me out.
And now the supermarket shelves are empty. People are filling up their own trollies and cupboards to try to deal with the panic of an unknown pandemic - and food banks up and down the country are running out of food.
As the impact of coronavirus takes hold, and the knock on effect of unpaid work, unfulfilled contracts, zero hours workers getting literally zero hours, new universal credit claims (currently a six week delay, who knows how much longer it will be with so many new claims to process?!), More and more people are going to find themselves at the door of the food bank, only to find that their shelves are empty too.
It's my birthday today (17th March) and I'm sitting here on my sofa at half past midnight truly thankful to be seeing another birthday at all. But all I want - really - is for people to dig as deep as they can and help restock struggling food banks so that the most vulnerable people in our neighbourhoods can access a little help in this precarious and difficult time.
People who can't afford to stockpile. People who buy their shopping in meagre amounts day to day. People who were already struggling who now won't be able to make ends meet.
We don't know how Covid19 is going to end up. We have no idea of the impact on our economy, society, communities. But poverty is already isolating, lonely, and exhausting. If we all turn inwards and only look after ourselves, more and more people are going to slip through the cracks.
All the money raised here does directly to the TRUSSELL Trust who will use it to support people in need and at risk of food insecurity and hunger throughout the UK.
If you can't afford to donate - sharing it on social media is free. Thankyou for your support.
The Trussell Trust, in conjunction with local communities, develops and runs sustainable projects in the UK tackling poverty and exclusion. Through the UK Foodbank Network and Community Enterprises we work with marginalised people in real need, providing practical care and support. www.trusselltrust.org.
All the best