‘The first wealth is health’.
Prior to 2014 there were no Trussell Trust Foodbanks in Shepway. Since the foodbanks arrival in Shepway in 2014, the numbers using the services has increased year on year across the four locations.
Each morning, afternoon and evening, parents are having to make tough choices about whether they eat or not.
In 2016 this is not an acceptable state of affairs in Shepway or elsewhere.
Child poverty as of February 2014 highlights the high percentage of children in poverty in Folkestone (41%).
In 2013 Shepway’s child poverty level’s stood at 23%, meaning almost one in every four children lived below the poverty line as measured by DCLG.
Any family can fall on hard times and find it difficult to make ends meet. But poverty isn’t inevitable. With the right policies, nationally and locally, every child can have the opportunity to do well in life, and we all share the rewards of having a stronger local economy and a healthier, fairer district.
There were 3.9 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2014-15. That’s 28 per cent of children, or 9 in a classroom of 30. [DWP]
Work does not provide a guaranteed route out of poverty in the UK. One fifth (20% per cent) of children growing up in poverty in Shepway live in a family where at least one member works.
These figures make for depressing reading and show little has changed since 2010.
Yes we all have a right to be concerned about Highways England building a lorry park, developing Princes Parade and the Otterpool Garden Village, but what is more important? The hungry children who live among us or these horrid developments?
This is the time of year we celebrate the Harvest Festival, traditionally a time when we food is often distributed among the poor and senior citizens of our local community, or used to raise funds for the church, or charity. If you have any food, whether it be a can of soup a bag of spuds, pasta please think twice, because it is Another Day for You and we in paradise and kindly donate something to Shepway foodbank
Finally when we went out to listen to parents who were going without food most evenings, to ensure that their children ate, we were highly disturbed and often brought to tears. In 2016 child poverty should not be happening in our district, or elsewhere.