Thursday, December 20, 2018

I really want you to read this ...... please

Alison Riggott, 40

S6 food bank, Sheffield

My husband's work arranged a food bank collection, as part of their corporate social responsibility.

I rang up the organiser and said:

"I can come, but I'll have to bring my baby." 

He was eight months old and used to sit in a high chair. We get a lot of young mothers who are embarrassed to be there; having a baby at the table immediately makes a connection. 
Straight away, you are talking about sleep, or lack of.

Before I started, I thought I was socially aware. 

Actually, I had no clue. 
I was living in my own little bubble. 
My boys come home from school. 
"Can I get a snack?"  
"Of course you can." 
It has been a massive eye-opener.

Quite a few asylum-seeking families who come to our food bank had babies of the same age. 

The bittersweet thing is they are still coming, 
so we see their babies grow up. 
The mums remember my little boy. 
He will turn three in May.

I see lots of single gentlemen in their 60s, who have lived in Sheffield their entire lives, had a health condition and can no longer work. 

They say: "It's all fine." Then you will hear the voice crack and the tears start. They say: (Tm sorry, I tried not to come." 

At first I used to come out and cry. 
Now, it's more like anger. 
Things aren't getting better for these people, our guests. I talk to my boys about it. 
I hope that, by talking, the next generation will think differently.