All I want for Christmas is…


All I want for Christmas is some UHT milk, was the message for St Mary’s parishioners in the Rye church’s notices handed out at each service last Sunday, and Rye News reported last week on how the local food bank is gearing up for Christmas.

The church notice also asked for donations of household goods (which could be anything from washing up liquid to a loo roll) and festive items, as poverty amongst those in work, as well as those out of work, increases – and is not just a temporary problem.

Rother District Council, who have recently been consulting on changes to their council tax reduction scheme in light of the government’s introduction of Universal Credit, has also seen a sharp increase in homelessness (and people in temporary housing) in the area – another measure of increasing poverty.

Food banks locally, and across the country, have seen demand sharply increase as, without the certainty of actually getting 40 hours a week of work, many of those on the minimum wage do not have enough to live on.

Christmas may therefore become a choice between food (or a loo roll) and a token present – and Christmas makes the choices even more painful.

Christmas, and immediately after Christmas, therefore has been, and remains a very busy time of year for food banks they say – which, as one of our local European Members of Parliament recently reported, have also been growing in numbers, even in the theoretically well-off South East,

All donations are therefore very welcome and most churches, and many of the supermarkets, have collection points for donations – even if it is only a pack of UHT milk or a bottle of washing up liquid.

Image Credits: Rye News library .

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