Helping people experiencing poverty
27 May 2020, 21:10 | Updated: 1 June 2020, 08:09
It’s estimated that more than 3 million people in Britain are going hungry because of the coronavirus crisis.
There was a growing dependence on food banks and rising homelessness in the UK before coronavirus, but now the situation has worsened.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, people have lost their jobs or experienced a drop in income. Children have lost access to free school meals, the elderly and vulnerable are unable to leave their homes, and all are looking for help to feed themselves and their families.
This has pushed many more into poverty. People who have never joined a food bank queue before are now finding they are unable to support their families.
This is putting an enormous strain on charities that provide food banks. They urgently need support to continue distributing food to vulnerable people in need in their communities – including those who are unable to afford food, are homeless or confined to their homes because they are the most vulnerable.
Radio X's charity, Global’s Make Some Noise is supporting charities like Family Gateway which is providing free nutritious meals to disadvantaged families across the North East. The closure of schools over the past few months has meant that many children, who would normally receive free school meals, are going without.
Working to address food poverty and malnutrition amongst children, Family Gateway are providing three meals per week to feed whole families.
When delivering meals, Family Gateway are also carrying out welfare checks to identify whether further help is needed. This is crucial to address additional pressures that may cause child neglect and affect children’s mental health and wellbeing.
Family Gateway anticipates the need to continue their Free Family Meals service until September.
The impacts of coronavirus will be felt long-term for many families now plunged into poverty.
Families that were previously making progress out of poverty will have regressed and need a huge amount of support to build resilience and recover.
The attainment gap is likely to widen as a result of school closures, with the poorest falling behind as many families in poverty struggle with home schooling. Youth unemployment and anti-social behaviour is also expected to rise as lockdown lifts.
These problems will place even more demand on Family Gateway’s services from families in need of help.
You can help those hit hardest by coronavirus in our communities.