Supporting parents and children who need it most
Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, the number of families The Salvation Army are helping with food and other necessities has increased by over 60 per cent* – and we know that, as an ongoing consequence of the crisis, this increased need is likely to continue.
Jess and her partner Ben are typical of many families who desperately need our help. They have two children including a six-month-old baby. Ben works in the building industry, but the work dried up when the coronavirus lockdown started. With no money coming in, the couple applied for benefits, but knew it would be weeks before any money came through. They simply didn’t know which way to turn.
Jess had never thought she would have to turn to a foodbank for help. She felt ashamed. But when we welcomed her and treated her with kindness and understanding, her feelings changed. And when our local officer Captain Emma came round to her home with a big bag of food – as well as formula and nappies for the baby – Jess couldn’t hold back the tears of happiness and relief.
In the following weeks, we continued to help Jess out when she was really hard-up. Above all, we encouraged her to believe that things would get better. That support has made all the difference to her. As Captain Emma says:
‘Jess has changed a lot since she first came to us. She’s less withdrawn. She smiles more easily.’
And things are getting better. Ben is back at work and the family has money coming in and food for the table.
Jess and Ben are just one of thousands of families The Salvation Army has helped during the crisis. Some may have a long and difficult road to travel, as businesses close and jobs are lost.
But as long as they need our help, we will never abandon them.