Oldham fasts for families in poverty as one in five UK parents cannot afford to feed children, study reveals

By Danielle Wainwright

Poverty-stricken families in Oldham were given a helping hand this month as hundreds of generous volunteers abstained from food and drink for one day emptying their cupboards for those living in crisis.

The donation scheme set up by Oldham council came after shocking new research from supermarket Tesco revealed that one in five parents in the UK are struggling to feed their children.

The event from Oldham Foodbank held as part of the holy month Ramadan saw council staff, Muslims and non-Muslims providing boxes of food to less fortunate families.

Generous volunteers have been donating unwanted goods and food items at Council sites, which include all libraries across the Borough which are then distributed to Oldham Foodbank and Dr Kershaw’s hospice.

Councillor Steve Bashforth, Deputy Cabinet Member for Cooperatives and Neighbourhoods, said: “The recent Foodbank collection at Oldham Library is an example of the generous and collective efforts of Council staff across the Borough supporting people in desperate need.

“The items continue to keep coming into our donation stations and since the scheme began over 70kg of food has been donated by Civic Centre staff alone.”

The Tesco research revealed the school summer holidays could see a large number of children going hungry as many poverty-stricken families rely on food supplied by schools such as a free school meal or food at breakfast or after school clubs.

The supermarket’s Group Corporate Affairs Director Rebecca Shelley, said the research into the number of people who are affected by food poverty in the UK has increased with no signs of improving.

“It’s hitting families hard, especially when resources like free school meals, breakfast clubs and after school clubs are not available,” she said

“Because we have stores in so many communities across the UK, we are working with the help of our customers, thousands of our colleagues and volunteers to help provide emergency food to people who are struggling.”

You can find out more information on Oldham Foodbank here.

Picture courtesy of Stephen Downes via Flickr, with thanks.

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