I’m on a zero-hours contract as a cleaner, and work dried up soon after lockdown began. The loss of £160 a week is devastating. I don’t want to think too far ahead, but deep down I know I’ll struggle to give my three young children the basics. I’m concerned that because I am not technically unemployed it may be difficult claim any benefits.
26-year-old Carl has worked hard as a mechanic since moving to Luton in 2013. The outbreak of COVID-19 meant a dramatic decline in demand for his skills, so Carl must survive on the odd day’s work. Even though his landlord has agreed reduced rent for time, he still can’t afford enough food. Local charity NOAH issued a foodbank voucher to Carl – something he describes as a lifeline as he looks for more work.
"I am not being dramatic when I say Luton Foodbank saved my life. I had no food, no money, I was unable to work due to my mental health and I was on the verge of giving up altogether. There was a young girl who gave me my food and she could not have been more kind. A warm smile from her and the help I received saved my life. I cannot thank you enough."
we were at rock bottom with wife ill and me lost my job. bills mounting up and couldnt even afford the basics, got sent to foodbank & it got us thru. well never forget it. THANKYOU SO MUCH!!!
"JUST WANT TO SAY THANKS xxx"
"I go to an All Women’s Centre in Luton and I saw a poster about the coffee morning. I wanted to come and say thank you to Luton Foodbank. I was abused by my ex-partner and I would not have survived without the foodbank. Money was never a problem and then all of it was gone. You never choose to be a domestic violence victim. You can be hard up for money or a billionaire and still be a victim of abuse. I just wanted to express my thanks to Luton Foodbank for helping people when no one else will."
JadeNow a Foodbank volunteer
"It was scary moving to a new town where I knew nobody, and with nothing but a few pounds in my purse. I had absolutely no idea where to turn or who to ask for help. I survived for a few weeks on rice and beans with very little left for luxuries like deodorant or toilet roll. I had never even heard of a food bank until my doctor told me about it. I was really nervous standing there outside the building, voucher hidden in my pocket, and worrying about people seeing me come out with bags with “Foodbank” written on them. The thought of people judging me for needing help almost made me walk away. But I was pleasantly surprised at how polite and well-mannered the staff were. They sat me down, we had a little chat. They explained that if I ever needed them again I only had to ask. I felt cared for, like I did matter. And the bags were just normal shopping bags, after all. Foodbanks make a huge impact in every way: that one food parcel can mean so much to somebody. I now volunteer at Luton Foodbank, and proudly work alongside the amazing people who helped me out so much through my difficult time."
"We’d never heard of food banks before we were referred about eighteen months ago. It was just a case of poor planning with a bit of bad luck coming at the wrong moment, and suddenly WOOSH everything went pear-shaped. I can still remember the look on the kids’ faces when they got in from school and saw all the food. Their smiles got to me and I just cried with relief, and that set my husband off too LOL. It was a proper feast after living on cup-a-soup for a week. Three days’ food saw us through, and gave us enough breathing room to address the things that had gone wrong. We’ve never looked back! Now we always drop a can or two in the collection box."