Darlington community workers are urging people to increase food bank donations, as the summer holiday sparks a surge in demand.
The Salvation Army provides free food parcels every Friday evening and the King’s Church has operated the Food Store and three other distribution centres in the town since February 2012.
Both look to provide emergency food resources for those unable to feed themselves or their families with all work carried out by hard working volunteers.
> Hope they are all volunteers – Salvation Army has a poor record regarding Workfare.
Summer is a crucial time for the projects, as the beginning of six weeks of school holidays leaves many families unable to cope.
King’s Church network manager Lisa Marsh said: “It is important that people can put food on the table.
“The last two summers has seen an increase in the demand for more food donations, often from families and single parents.
“The lack of access to free school meals and added pressure of buying school uniforms is very important.”
Parents often cut down their own food intake in order to feed their children.
Colin Bradshaw, of Darlington Salvation Army, which also runs a food bank, said: “Dozens of people attend every Friday evening.
“The start of the summer holidays will see an increase in numbers as many people who wouldn’t normally attend need the support of food banks as the main meal of the day is not provided by schools for children”.
Items such as tinned meats, pasta, long life milk and cereal are the major priorities for donations.
Mr Bradshaw praised the generosity of those who provide food donations.
He said: “Thanks to everyone who supports our food bank, such support makes a huge difference in the community.”
Donations can be made at The Salvation Army, Darlington Citadel and the King’s Church, Darlington.
For more information, visit darlingtonsalvationarmy.org.uk or kingschurchdarlington.org/foodstore
Source – Northern Echo, 23 July 2014
‘Help To Work’ is the mass workfare scheme announced by George Osborne at last year’s Tory Party conference. Those leaving the Work Programme without a job – which is almost everyone – will either have to sign on every day or be forced to work for no pay for a ‘community’ organisation for six months. The whole package is expected to cost almost a third of a billion, with most of that money lining the pockets of private sector profiteers running the scheme.
The problem is no-one knows who those providers are yet, including the DWP themselves. A response to a Freedom of Information request dated April 10th said that the tender for ‘Help To Work’ was still ongoing. The DWP…
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The Week of Action Against Workfare begins today with actions across the UK and online scheduled over the next seven days.
The week has been called in response to mass unpaid work schemes such as Traineeships and comes in the month that Community Work Placements are set to be launched. These mandatory placements will mean unemployed people forced to work in at charities and in so-called community organisations for a period of six months.
In a huge embarrassment for Iain Duncan Smith, workfare’s biggest supporters The Salvation Army have already announced that this scheme is too exploitative even for them to stomach. The charity had been invited by the DWP to bid for a lucrative sub-contract to administer the placements. Other…
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The Salvation Army‘s new regional pay structure came into force at the start of the month, bringing with it cuts in pay for hostel workers – including at the Salvation Army’s Swan Lodge in Sunderland.
The charity says the cuts are in response to changes in funding for homelessness services from central and local Government.
Clare Williams, regional convenor of the union Unison, said: “These changes will result in workers doing the same job in different areas of the country for different levels of pay, which in itself is unfair.
“However, it is aiming to achieve this by implementing severe cuts to pay and service conditions without properly considering the effects on its own workforce and the services it provides to vulnerable people locally.
“The charity says the changes are to secure future contracts for homeless services paid for by the Supporting People Grant.
“The irony is that the impact of these cuts upon its own staff will put many on the poverty line and some at risk of losing their own homes.”
Readers might like to consider the fact that the Salvation Army are also enthusiastic users of forced labour – unemployed under threat of benefit sanctions – to staff their charity shops. Perhaps they have plans to extend forced labour to other areas of their organization.
More on the SA and unpaid labour here –
Perhaps we need a resurrection of the Skeleton Army – a diffuse group, active in Southern England, that opposed and disrupted The Salvation Army’s marches against alcohol in the late 19th century. Clashes between the two groups led to the deaths of several Salvationists and injuries to many others.
A fascinating – and largely unknown – example of popular protest. Read more here –