This week Juice Community Project in Kingswood responded to growing local need by opening a new food bank in Cadbury Heath to support local people who are struggling to afford the basics.
A recent report from The Trussell Trust reveals that the number of people using food banks up and down the country has tripled in the last year. Their evidence shows that rising living costs and stagnant wages are forcing more people to live on a financial knife edge where any change in circumstance can plunge them into poverty.
Having seen this trend mirrored in Kingswood, Juice Community Project, which has been providing advice and support services in the community since 2009, this week extended their services by opening a food store. The food store will be run by volunteers and will support those facing extreme hardship by providing food donations.
Jo McCarron, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate in Kingswood, attended the launch. Speaking afterwards Jo said:
“The average family is £1600 worse off since 2010 but we don’t need statistics to tell us that here in Kingswood as unfortunately there is hard evidence on the ground of how families here are being driven further into the mire by this Tory-led government.
“Food prices have risen by 12.6% above inflation over the past six years, and combined with rising energy prices, it’s not just a media myth, people are literally choosing between eating and heating.
“It's wonderful that Juice have generously responded to the despair of the least fortunate by setting up this food store. I was pleased to see that Conservative representatives were also present for the opening because all politicians need to acknowledge the impact the actions of this Government are having. Kingswood’s Conservative MP could do with visiting the reality of what his votes in the House translate into on the ground.”