A FOOD bank is being launched in North Solihull to help locals pushed to breaking point by April’s benefits shake-up.
Based in Auckland Hall, Smith’s Wood, the facility will provide desperate residents with three days worth of food to get them through a crisis.
As part of Christian charity Trussell Trust’s national network, it will be run by a collaboration of 14 churches in North Solihull and East Birmingham along with local councillor Mike Sheridan.
Coun Sheridan (Green, Smith’s Wood) said the Government’s benefits cap, which could substantially cut what recipients receive from April, may mean many are left with a bleak choice.
“I meet people in the borough who really do have the choice of paying their bills or buying food,” said Coun Sheridan.
“When the benefits system changes in April, the situation is going to get even worse as crisis loans disappear and the amount paid is restricted.
“That’s why we are gearing up to open then, we want to be able to offer practical help to people in a crisis situation.”
Coun Sheridan blamed the recession for pushing people to breaking point but said an unexpected crisis could affect anyone.
“A month or so ago, when the council took council tax money early from people’s bank accounts, some were left with no money for the weekend to buy food.
“In the future we can help in such emergencies.”
An appeal has gone out for volunteers of all faiths to join the 30-strong food bank team in April, to help dole out food boxes or collect donations of non-perishable food.
Anyone wanting to help, can call Coun Sheridan on 0121 777 1752.