Supporting Dads at People’s Pantry

Over the last twelve months it has been an emotional roller coaster for all of us, the pandemic has most certainly taken its toll, whether that be financially, emotionally, or mentally. It has added pressures most of us would never have dreamt of happening and it has most certainly affected us in many ways. This has been reflected in the range of people that we have had accessing the Pantry, many have never needed any kind of support before, some have battled through the hard months relying on friends and family to scrape by. But now even their friends and family are struggling, resources cannot be stretched any further.

These are parents home schooling their children having increased costs due to consistent electricity running and endless asks for food, these are our furloughed workers who have seen their pay reduce by 20%, these are our self employed who have nowhere else to turn, these are our workforce who have been made redundant, this is OUR COMMUNITY AND THEY NEED HELP! This situation is heart-breaking. Food Poverty should not be a thing in 2021, yet here it sits on our doorstep.

This week I met a dad and his story really struck a nerve for me, not only could I understand his struggle, but I could relate as I knew how easily it could happen. One of the family support team had taken a call from a dad that needed support with food from our People’s Pantry. He collected the food from the Pantry and whilst outside we got talking and he explained how difficult he found it reaching out to us and asking for our support. He was a single parent, he took great pride in the fact he had worked all his life, for several years he had been self-employed and had always been able to put food on the table for his family. However due to the nature of his work the current pandemic has not only had a devastating effect on the volume of work he’s been able to do but also due to the schools being closed he has been putting his children’s education first and home-schooling them.

The gentleman in question during our conversation said that he was a great believer in giving back to those that have supported him in the more difficult times and has offered that once he’s back on his feet again he’s more than happy to offer his services to the other families that we support.

It just goes to show that you never know who is going to come knocking and asking for support as someone’s circumstances can change in a flash and being able to give that help to someone when they need it the most is the most heart warming experience I’ve ever had.