Frank Field MP
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Extending Food Bank Plus

Feeding Birkenhead this week extended its pioneering Food Bank Plus service to the end of 2018.

The service involves a trained advisor from Involve Northwest being present at the food bank each week to help put right the problems that have led people to be hungry. The problems range from rent arrears and chronic debt, to delays and stoppages in Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment & Support Allowance, Universal Credit and tax credits.

Food Bank Plus has helped hundreds of people avoid having to make repeat visits to the food bank, by resolving their crises there and then during a first visit. Involve Northwest’s latest figures show that in the three months to October, half of the 381 people it helped through Food Bank Plus had their problems resolved during a first visit.

In an ideal world, of course, the service would not be necessary. But until the Government is able to process and pay people’s benefit and tax credit claims accurately and on time, it remains essential.

I am therefore so encouraged that Feeding Birkenhead has found a way of countering the delays and errors that have brought the food bank into play, and to have restricted to a bare minimum the human damage caused by these delays and errors. The service will remain a key part of our drive to make Birkenhead a hunger-free town.

My next surgery is at 5pm this Friday (25th November) at Birkenhead Town Hall.
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