The Food Bank movement is run by a the claimant is directed to the nearest Job Christian organisation, The Trussell Trust and hands out three day supplies of food to people with no other recourse. There are 163 throughout Britain and they supply tinned and non-perishable foods donated largely by church congregations.
Will they get much use at the Clarendon? Hopefully not. The first port of call for anyone currently on benefits will be to the Social Fund, which can be handled on the tele- phone. Crisis Loans are interest free and you do not have to be on Income Support to apply.
A Crisis Loan is an urgent payment that can be made to anyone who does not have enough money to meet their immediate needs. The loan should be paid when it is the only way of preventing a serious risk to the health or safety of you or a member of your family.
You can apply for a Crisis Loan if you have had a crisis such as a fire or a burglary for example or if you have lost your money or are waiting for a benefit to be assessed – you will need to show you do not have enough money for you and your family’s immediate living expenses or for an essential item such as a cooker or fridge for example.
They will award a Crisis Loan for subsistence at a rate of about £40 per week which has to be repaid through benefits in cases of dire emergency. Once a loan has been agreed
Centre (such as Granta House) where a Giro (remember those?) will be issued to be cashed at a post office.
Only in the event of this application being turned down will it be necessary to access the Food Bank vouchers.
Alternatively someone with an addiction problem might be better off taking food rather than cash.
The latest available figures reveal that, in 2008-09 in England and Wales, almost 2.4 million people applied for crisis loans. Only 1.7 million received an initial award, meaning almost 700,000 were left waiting for a loan or had their applications turned down.
Many of the people involved are often working or a turned down for multiple or inappropriate applications. Oxfam has esti- mated that 6 per cent of Britons now go hungry some of time and that 13 million live in poverty.
What should you do if you are destitute?
Mark Francis is the signatory for the Vouchers at the Clarendon Centre. He will try to get you a Crisis Loan & if this fails- or you have an addiction problem that might make this the better option- then a voucher will be given to take to the local Food Bank. Like a Crisis Loan, you may only have 3 in any twelve month period.