Posted by Emma Head
In this post one of our second year students, Nicola Edwards, reflects on the decision the Keele Sociology society made to support the Stoke-on-Trent food bank.
It has become impossible to ignore how the Government’s recent austerity measures have impacted upon local people. The previously comfortable are now facing hardship, the vulnerable are facing desperation. This is the reason the Trussel Trust Food Bank opened in Stoke-on-Trent this May; demand has been so high that an additional food bank opened early November in Newcastle-under-Lyme. In 2010 there were over 16,000 children living in poverty, this was just under 30% of the 0-19year old population. Stoke-on-Trent food bank testify that this has risen dramatically since the Indices of Deprivation report was released in 2011, ranking Stoke-on-Trent 16th in the list of 50 most deprived areas.
Despite such worrying statistics it was the personal stories of those who have experienced poverty that touched the newly formed Keele Sociology Society. After discussing how I had experienced needing to skip meals as a new mum ten years ago, due to rent and childcare costs higher than my wages, and hearing the stories told by Amy who volunteered with her local food bank and had seen first-hand why so many had to turn to their food bank for support, we knew as a group we had to do something.