Your generous donation of several bags and boxes of food and a very useful cheque for £200 (receipt number is 160, dated 24th December, 2015) are most welcome in the light of the deteriorating situation for many people and families in Bradford and I don’t think you need me to spell out the general climate at the moment as you must be facing it on a daily basis.
We have been dismayed by the emphasis on demonising those who struggle, and are out of work, often on a very temporary basis, or have mental health problems, and I am ashamed to live in a nation that can characterise those who are not coping, often because of sanctions, zero hours contracts, changes to the DLA and the introduction of Universal Credit, as shirkers not workers, or skivers not strivers. I am old enough to remember the opening up of the concentration camps at the end of the war and they were the result of the constant emphasis on blaming the gypsies and the Jews until a normal sensible population were able to accept the hatred as the norm and then extermination as the solution.
The result is that despite setting a record of 10,000 food bags in 2014, each valued at about £15, we have now surpassed that with just over 11,000 this year, and all of that from a figure of around 3,000 just five years ago. However the encouraging fact is the contribution made by the people and organisations in Bradford, from schools, work places, churches, mosques, gurdwaras and individuals and this is happening for a number of food banks, including ours, the local Bradford Metropolitan one, which began in 2004, and is run entirely by volunteers and is non sectarian.
We look forward to the time when we can pack up and not have all this need and suffering to cope with, but until then contributions like yours keep us going and we are extremely thankful for your support.
On behalf of the volunteers and Trustees of Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank