Unite members and branches at Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company and Brighton Hospital BSUH Trust showed the real meaning of solidarity with a massive contribution to local food banks. The absolute wealth of food donations from these individual members and Unite branches was overwhelming. When so many ordinary people have to rely on charitable hand outs just to feed themselves and their families our members showed the true value of collective community support.
The donations were shared between Trussell Trust Shoreham (a newly opened foodbank) and the Brighton umbrella organisation FareShare, which acts as a local collection and storage point – then distributing food as necessary amongst local charities. Through these organisations we were able to donate across the Brighton – Hove – Shoreham and wider Adur area.
FareShare staff were overjoyed with the level of support Unite had shown. The impact of such a substantial donation will help keep local food charities well stocked over the Christmas period.
Paul Comber of Trussell Trust Shoreham commented “I would like to thank Unite members for the magnificent donation of food to our foodbank. Your members' generous donations will be providing families, who are in emergency food crisis in the Shoreham, Southwick and Fishersgate areas, with food to help see them through the crisis and onto other support agencies that will hopefully address the underlying issues.”
Janet Henney, regional officer, who co-ordinated this project added “the generosity and humanity of our members at the Buses and Hospital has been overwhelming, and the contribution of our stewards here has been outstanding in making this happen. Whilst food poverty is a political issue this project has clearly demonstrated that whilst the government continues to ignore this major domestic crisis, Unite members will continue to step up to the mark. However, people should not be at the whim of charity in feeding themselves and their families. We need central government to recognise the problem and act now.”
Janet also thanked Hangleton Community Centre in Hove for assisting in the project by providing us with the collection, co-ordination and distribution room.
Notes to editors
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.