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