Young Chamber Members Launch Foodbank Awareness Campaign

07 Feb 2019

Published in: Black Country Chamber of Commerce News

Young Chamber shoot film to highlight the service and volunteers of Black Country Food Bank, for their latest campaign.

Members of the Young Chamber visited the Black Country Foodbank this week to kick off their latest social action campaign, whilst a group of MPs continues to push the government to introduce a Minister for Hunger in response to a growth in food insecurity in the UK - especially among children.


Members of the Black Country Young Chamber visited the Black Country Food Bank in Brierley Hill to shoot a short film to highlight the work of the service and its volunteers.


Teaming up with film and TV degree students from The University of Wolverhampton, the video will promote their latest initiative across schools in the region, helping to raise awareness of the Black Country foodbank and support the consistent supply of food to its headquarters in Albion Street, Brierley Hill. The video will form part of the film student’s Social Action Video Module.


Vikki Haines, who heads up the Young Chamber initiative for the Black Country Chamber of Commerce said, “We really want this campaign to be driven by the students with their thoughts and ideas. It will prove to be a valuable project for them to work on together, both within their schools as well as serving the community needs. What they take away from their visit, and this video, will be invaluable and it will help spread the message to their peers. We will also be working with Chamber businesses who will help the students and support the campaign.


The foodbank receives great support over the months in the run up to the festive period, reflecting the generosity of local people. The Young Chamber challenge is now to encourage donations over the coming months, and we are putting out a rallying call to our Chamber members to get involved”.


In August 2018 the Black Country food bank, for the first time in several years, almost ran out of food, the reasons, the introduction of Universal Credit along with a drop-in donation over the summer months.


Jenny Coleman from the Black Country Food Bank said, “2018 was a difficult year for BCFB in terms of high demand and steady donations. Our resources were pushed to the limit and we are concerned about having enough food and toiletry items to provide for everyone who needs help in 2019. BCFB only exists because of the generosity of our donors and we are hoping that the Young Chamber can encourage as much support for BCFB as possible over the next few months. We are excited about our partnership with the Young Chamber and we are looking forward to working together.”


Meanwhile the Environmental Audit Committee highlighted in 2017 Unicef figures now show 19% of children under the age of 15 in the UK live with adults who struggle to buy food.


One in five children live in a home where adults don’t have enough money to buy food and around three million people across the UK are undernourished.


The report also goes on to say that ministers have failed to recognise and respond to the problem although the government says the number of children living in workless households is at a record low.


But MPs say the number of people without reliable access to affordable, nutritious food is "significant and growing", with the unemployed, sick or those with children most likely to be affected.


The committee wants to see the appointment of a new minister with "responsibility and accountability for combating hunger and food insecurity within the UK".


The job would involve exploring the scale, causes and impact of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition and implementing strategies to improve the situation.


A spokeswoman for the Department of Work and Pensions said that, since 2010, one million people had been lifted out of absolute poverty - including 300,000 children.


"Household incomes have never been higher and the number of children living in workless households is at a record low, but we know there's more to do ensure that every family has access to nutritious, healthy food," she said.


But Labour MP Mary Creagh, who is chairwoman of the committee, said more children were growing up in homes where parents do not have enough money to put food on the table.


"The combination of high living costs, stagnating wages and often, the roll-out of Universal Credit and the wider benefits system, means that levels of hunger in Britain are some of the highest across Europe.


"We found that nearly one in five children under 15 are living in a food insecure home - a scandal which cannot be allowed to continue."


"This can only be addressed by setting clear UK-wide targets and by appointing a Minister for Hunger to deliver them."


Get involved or find out more about Young Chamber here. Alternatively, contact Chamber Careers and Enterprise Coordinator, Vikki Haines, on 01902 912 333 or email VikkiHaines@blackcountrychamber.co.uk 

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