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Reform Magazine | October 17, 2017

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I am… a foodbank user

I am… a foodbank user

Using a foodbank for the first time at 58

The first time I went to a foodbank was about 18 months ago. I was working in a sub post office, as a manager, on a very low wage. I was in charge of tens of thousands of people’s money, but had nothing for myself.

When I handed my notice in, I was due to start my next job, but it did not start straight away; there was a gap in between the jobs. I went to my housing provider to explain about my rent difficulties, as I think I only had about £14 in the bank at that point. They said they could give me a food voucher. I said: ‘You know, with the best will in the world, that isn’t going to solve the problem.’ But I took it, and I went.

The foodbank was at the Salvation Army centre in Ellesmere Port, and, because I knew them and went to church, I was familiar with the building. I think it may be harder and worse for people who have never been.

Later on, I had occasion to go again. I’ve been twice all together. I remember thinking: ‘I’m 58 years old and having to resort to this.’ I felt a sense of failure that I was not better off, although later on I saw it differently.

I have been to food poverty meetings and, looking back, I am just glad the foodbank was there. At the time it was helpful, and it was a lifeline, but I can understand how people might find going there difficult…

‘I am…’ is an anonymous column

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This is an extract from an article that was published in the October 2017 edition of  Reform

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