Stephen Metcalfe MP with Basildon Foodbank manager, Victor Oladele, and local volunteers.
After visiting Pitsea foodbank last week, Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has praised the many volunteers who make their work possible.
Run by The Trussell Trust foodbanks helped to feed 346,992 people nationwide in 2012-13 by providing food parcels to those most in need. The Trust partner with local churches and communities to open distribution centres and their goals is to have one in every town.
A complex array of circumstances has led to the need for foodbanks including the rising cost of food and unemployment. The local MP hopes believes one of the solutions lies in increasing employment and hopes that falling unemployment will help get people back on their feet and less reliant on the services provided by foodbanks.
Mr Metcalfe commented: “Whilst I am extremely thankful for the work of foodbanks, I want to see a country that has no need for them. One of the keys to this is getting those that can work back into employment. There are already 1.25million more people in jobs since we took office thanks to schemes such as the Work Programme but there is still more to be done.”
“I am pleased that the government is committed to tackling unemployment and I hope that in the long term it may ease some of the burden placed on foodbanks.”
Pitsea foodbank is run largely by volunteers who give up their time to help others whilst also gaining invaluable skills.
The local MP added: “Without volunteers giving out food and working hard to sort and collect it, foodbanks couldn’t function. I would like to thank all those who involved in this process at Pitsea and would like to encourage anyone who is interested in getting involved to do so! They are always on the lookout for new recruits and you could help make an invaluable contribution to those in need.”
For further information about how you can get involved or to find out more about the foodbank please see: http://basildon.foodbank.org.uk/contact