In response to the ongoing crisis – the pandemic, the rising cost of living and the fuel crisis, charities like us, community groups and businesses have all stepped up and are continuing to step up to feed people. There are significant achievements to be celebrated and we are thankful to all our supporters and volunteers who have made the issue of food insecurity a collective priority. However the issue remains that food insecurity is a symptom of poverty; the condition of not having enough money to live your life. It is a deep structural problem caused by the unfair distribution of resources and power, and the lack of an adequate safety net. To address poverty – and end food poverty we must tackle these systemic issues.
What the Brick is doing to tackle the root causes of poverty:
– We are changing our food provision to a community membership model, where people can come and shop and choose their food and household products with dignity. There will be a small charge for those that can afford to pay but we will always prioritise families who are experiencing hardship.
– We will help people to make their money go further, reducing shopping bills so that money can be freed up for other essentials.
– We will help people to stay afloat in these tough times, preventing crisis and debt issues spiralling.
– We are working with Wigan Council and other local food projects to develop a Wigan Food Network, highlighting the need for ‘cash first’ approach – putting money into the pockets of those who are struggling so they can access affordable food independently.
– We will be offering additional support services so that people can resolve the issues that are causing food insecurity. We will upskill our volunteers so that they can offer advice and signpost to services that can help – debt counselling, mental health and wellbeing services, benefits and job advice, upskilling and CV writing.
– We will help people to maximise incomes by ensuring that people receive all the benefits that they are entitled to. We will provide cookery classes in our community kitchen, recipes, household budgeting tips and help to make tight budgets stretch further.
We are thankful to The National lottery for a grant that will pay for the property refurbishment at St George’s Church, Water Street to enable us to deliver this project. However we now face our next huge hurdle of ensuring that we have enough affordable food for everyone who needs it. If you are a business or individual who would like to help or you are interesting in becoming a food community volunteer in our new project please contact Claire Doherty at firstname.lastname@example.org