A parcel per day being issued by town's food bank

Startling statistics reveal that, on average, Berwick Food Bank gave out a parcel per day last year.

Sunday, 22nd January 2017, 7:56 am
Daniel Blake Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Briana Shann, and Dylan McKiernan in I, Daniel Blake

Of the 365 parcels, Berwick Community Trust distributed 273, supporting 300 children and 265 adults in the community.

The remaining 92 parcels were given to partner organisations such as the Salvation Army and SureStart for distributution.

Becci Murray, manager at Berwick Community Trust’s Here for You project, said: “Most of the families/individuals that we support are in need because of benefit issues or debt.

“The length of time it takes to receive benefits or sort out problems with benefits is a major factor, as are sanctions and changes to benefits or circumstances.”

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Local churches, schools, groups such as cadets and brownies and individuals continue to support the food bank with donations of food, and Berwick Food Bank continues to be supported by Tesco and Asda.

However, many people remain unaware of the food bank’s work and, in some cases, its very existence.

To that end, a screening of the film I, Daniel Blake has been organised at The Maltings cinema in Berwick on February 1 at 7.30pm. There will be a bucket collection for donations.

The film, directed by Ken Loach and starring Dave Johns, tells the story of Daniel Blake, a 59-year-old widowed joiner living in Newcastle who must rely on welfare after a heart attack leaves him unable to work.

Despite his doctor’s diagnosis, the authorities deny Blake’s benefits and tell him to return to his job. The film details Blake’s struggled with the system.

Meanwhile, a charity showing of I, Daniel Blake in Wooler on Friday raised just under £500. The money is being shared between the Newcastle foodbank and the Wooler food bank.

There is a collection box in the Cheviot Centre at Padgepool Place along with flyers giving more information about the foodbank.