Reflections on summer

5th September 2018

From our Foodbank Manager, Annette:

I recently had a time away from the Foodbank. I found it hard. Harder than living day-to-day in a community of people who struggle to keep their heads above water and whose survival techniques include food clubs as armbands and local support agencies as lifeguards.During my time away I watched as others kept their heads above water by swimming freely by themselves, able to just float in the sunshine while back at home we are treading water and getting nowhere.

During my time away I watched people struggle to make choices such as where to eat out. Everybody was using their cars, the pavements were empty. Back home, the pavements are full of people walking. In the community I work in, it’s a luxury if you can run a car and choose which cupboard might you find food in, and pay rent without compromising on one of them.

During my time away, I looked and every one had shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather. It reminded me of the shoes of school children I see that look like flip flops because they are coming apart, and that’s in winter.

My time away was unreal, living in a cocoon, listening to conversations of no real importance, small-talk to pass the day. I missed the harsh reality of difficult conversations. Overhearing small talk about the weather and when to put the heating on did not include sentences or discussion about that week’s priorities in using the fuel energy expense for washing clothes/showers or cooking or heating.

I hear everyday comments about ‘lifestyle choices’ and that those who use Foodbanks are making the wrong choices. However, knowing our clients, I am sure every one of them would love the opportunity to choose which higher interest back account or ISA to invest in, but currently, they would simply like a bank account of their own. They’d like a safe home and enough to feed their children. I don’t think it’s a lot to ask.

Everybody needs a break from reality, to gather your thoughts, take a few deep breaths before you dive back into the real world. I love Morecambe. We have the best of both worlds.

On one side of the road we have some pockets of areas where life is a struggle in so many different ways for different people. But as a community we are so rich in supporting each other, local businesses and the general public. You need an example of proof? The Foodbank has helped in excess of 1229  individual children in the last year and it does not do that on its own. It’s takes generosity of time, food and finance to support a big operation like ours and it’s testament to the amazing people who live here.

Our other world – you have only to cross a road, walk along the prom and breathe in the fresh air every day, for free! The views are spectacular. A permanent fixture but a temporary visual escape from reality. Our sunsets are stunning but the sunrise will come to highlight the rise of Morecambe and District residents. We will make this a better town to live in and we will continue to work to serve people in our community who don’t have enough.

Morecambe. Our own walk in Eden.

Annette Smith is our Foodbank Manager. She founded the Foodbank in 2012 and runs the day to day operation. She and her family live in Morecambe.

Back to News