The High Sheriff of Shropshire is calling on the county’s residents and organisations to share information about access to food support as widely as possible.
The Shropshire Food Poverty Alliance has created the Shropshire Larder website which features the latest information about food, housing and benefits in the county; and Dean Harris is asking everyone in Shropshire to let their colleagues, friends and families know about the site.
She said: “Some may think it is only unemployed people who may need to access support – but this is not true. With growing numbers impacted financially by the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s vital that those who need it are signposted towards Shropshire Larder. It could make all the difference for individuals and families who are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table.
“There are sadly so many people who have seen their household income drop due to being furloughed, a reduction in hours, a family break-up, or perhaps their partner has been made redundant, and some may have experienced a job loss and then had to take a lower-paying job due to the lack of opportunities during the pandemic.”
Almost 70% of the working-age adults in poverty are part of families where at least one person works, and more than a quarter of all working-age adults in full- or part-time work are in poverty1. In Shropshire, 41% of Universal Credit claimants in July 2020 were in work2 and research suggests up to 54% of jobs are at risk3.
Jackie Jeffrey from Citizens Advice Shropshire added: “It is worrying how the demographics of people suffering food poverty include so many working families and the numbers are increasing in these difficult times.
“Shropshire Larder is a wonderful resource for people struggling on low income. As employers and for those of you who are self-employed there is a lot of support out there. Working together we can make and do make such a difference for people.”
To help support the Shropshire workforce, employers can commit to paying the Real Living Wage to ensure people have enough to live on (currently £9.30); ensure staff know what support they are entitled to such as Free School Meals, Healthy Start, Universal Credit and Carers Allowance; and signpost staff to www.shropshirelarder.org.uk.