(image from telegraph.co.uk)
(image from trusseltrust.org)
The Trussell Trust seems to be doing an amazing job helping communities to set up local food banks; the shame is that they are necessary in this day and age, as so many of us have already said.
So, I bought lots of bits and pieces. The volunteers were handing out lists, asking people to consider donating items from the list. I had also had a look on their local website where they tell people what they are particularly short of in this area, so I varied it a little, and used some of Jack's suggestions, too.
I bought Asda own-brand STs (£1.80) because if you have no money for food, you may be in need of those too! A packet of biscuits [40p], a three for £1 offer on some sweets, two sachets of make-it-with-hot-water custard [30p], chicken noodles [11p], pasta [32p], a tin of meatballs [40p], coffee [47p], UHT milk [53p], tinned tomatoes [31p], jam [29p], squash [42p], peanut butter [62p], fish paste [48p], sugar [88p], jar of pasta sauce [39p], tin rice pud [50p] and tea bags [27p].
I was very pleased at how much I managed to get for just under a tenner - this lot came to £9.49, which I was happy to spend as I have never donated to a food bank like this before and wanted to do what I could. The website list had also asked for nappies, but I had a look and there are so many sizes and kinds that I left well alone, not having a clue which would be the most useful size to buy.
I did have a twinge of guilt when I was looking at the pasta in particular and I was putting two packs of conchiglie pasta in my part of the trolley and yet picking up smart price penne for the donation basket. I still have that twinge - if smart price is good enough for the people who are going to receive the donation, why isn't it good enough for us? Well, the honest answer is that it is, in many cases; we do buy a lot of items from the value ranges in all the supermarkets, and I have no qualms about shopping at Lidl either. Today, I bought most items in the value range because I wanted to get as much as I could for the amount I could afford to spend, and that is the bottom line. If my children were hungry and I was desperate for food for them, I would be glad of anything as long as there was enough to fill their bellies and let them sleep soundly.
I hope that the food banks have had their shelves re-stocked in abundance today.