Citizens Advice Wirral and Wirral Foodbank work together to tackle food poverty in Wirral
Citizens Advice Wirral have teamed up with Wirral Foodbank to launch a Foodbank Plus project to tackle the issues individuals have, that lead them to needing emergency foodparcel.
Citizens Advice Wirral have recruited a dedicated Foodbank Plus Caseworker, Nicola Connor, who will work with the 15 foodbank distribution centres across Wirral. Nicola will provide advice and training volunteers to support Foodbank clients to access information.
The Foodbank Plus projectwill help clients resolve their practical issues and maximise their income, reduce their debts, solve housing and other issues.
Wirral Foodbank secured funding for the project from individual donors and grants from Charitable Foundations.
Richard Roberts, Foodbank Manager stated, ‘We have worked closely with Citizens Advice Wirral over the past 3 years, and are seeing more and more people who need support to resolve their issues. We are excited with this new initiative – the appointment of Nicola as the FoodbankPlus Caseworker for Wirral means we can do more to stop people suffering as a result of food poverty.’
Carol Johnson-Eyre, Chief Executive, Citizens Advice Wirral added, ‘We are delighted to be working closely with Wirral Foodbank to deliver this essential advice service. It’s really important that clients who have gone to a Foodbank to receive an emergency food parcel, sort out their issues especially in relation to having enough money to buy food. Our new Caseworker, will work with the Foodbank volunteers at the foodbank to upskill them, and give them greater confidence to provide information to access information and advice that will help clients resolve their issues. We can help Foodbank clients to maximise their income, reduce or manage their debts.
Frank Field, MP said, ‘Foodbank Plus has been a vital part of the barricade that was built three years ago by Feeding Birkenhead to protect vulnerable residents from destitution. Many hundreds of people have, as a result of this service, received on-the-spot help to resolve their immediate financial problems during a first visit to the Foodbank. This fresh commitment from Citizens Advice and the Foodbank will strengthen that barricade and, in so doing, ensure many fewer people are exposed to prolonged periods of hardship.’
Citizens Advice Wirral will also work in partnership with Wirral Foodbank to identify and address any systematic issues such as in relation to benefits and provide evidence of that those issues lead to food poverty, to try and improve systems’.