There has been a Citizens Advice outreach worker at the Tuesday foodbank sessions for two years which is funded by a Big Lottery Grant and money from Sheffield City Council. There are currently advice workers in ten Sheffield foodbanks on a weekly or fortnightly basis, helping clients with benefit claims, appeals, housing and debt issues. The aim is to tackle the underlying problems that have caused someone to be referred and to reduce dependence on foodbanks. The figures for the year ending 31st March 2017 show that, on average, advice workers manage to recover just over £700 for each initial enquiry. It’s an enormously encouraging validation of the worth of the project and its benefit to the foodbank clients.
Stock needed: currently there are plenty of baked beans, pasta and soup but a shortage of coffee, jars of pasta sauce, tinned vegetables (especially sweetcorn, tomatoes, carrots and peas) tinned fruit, breakfast cereal and tomato ketchup (yes, that last item isn’t a necessity but it can help boring meals taste a bit more interesting!)