Increasing numbers of young people, who are struggling to make ends meet, particularly if they are not getting benefits, are receiving help from our 16+ team, which is providing them with emergency food parcels.
In the past, young people would have been eligible for a crisis loan but this has been significantly reduced following changes to benefits introduced by the Government.
The 16+ team has been developing a food store for six months with food donated by local charities and purchased by the local authority to enable team member to make up food parcels for those young people whom for whatever reason do not have the money to buy food.
On average, up to three emergency food parcels are issued per week including a mix of foodstuffs such as soups, rice, pasta, sauces, tinned tomatoes, beans, tuna, fruit, vegetables, kidney beans, cereals, fruit juices and water.
The team recently received a significant donation of food items including vegetables, chickpeas, rice, soft drinks and canned foods from The Discover Islam Centre based at Upper George Street, as part of their Ramadan celebrations, which will help a number of young people over the coming weeks.
Cllr Waheed Akbar, Executive Member with responsibility for children’s services, said: “It’s astonishing that so many young people are being forced to live on exceptionally low incomes and subsequently are struggling to meet every day living expenses. The 16+ team are seeing increasing numbers of young people coming forward for these vital food parcels, which ensures they can have nutritional meals and not go hungry.
“We are very grateful to the Discover Islam Centre and members of the Muslim community as well as other charities who have donated food items in order to support those young people who are in most need.”