The concept of asking for help is one that many people really struggle with for reasons of self pride, guilt or perhaps don’t know who to turn too.
In the midst of a pandemic where jobs, health and everyday life has been compromised it’s no secret that the mental and financial struggles people are dealing with are putting them in vulnerable situations.
In times of need we rely on our support systems around us. But for many, those support systems may not exist or be in vicinity.
This issue seems to be particularly prevalent amongst international students who are here on study visas alone.
Individuals may be feeling alone and anxious about dealing with this pandemic on top of being in a foreign country for the first time.
There are so many resources designed and tailored for a plethora of needs ready for you whenever you need them.
One service in particular that is incredibly underrated by students is food-banks. There are many myths surrounding food banks but they truly are there for everyone and anyone that is struggling and are a great source of survival for thousands of people.
The Trussel Trust is a fantastic network of food banks that provides individuals or families with three days worth of non perishable food.
The trust runs the biggest network of food banks in the UK, giving emergency food and support to people in crisis.
Fourteen million people live below the poverty line and in the last year an incredible 1.9 million three-day emergency food supplies have been distributed to people in crisis.
This network is a lifeline for so many people living on the breadline and in the midst of a pandemic is a priceless service.
Simply type in your location on the website to find the closest food bank to you and arrange a collection governed by Covid regulations to pick up your food parcel. It’s that simple!
Items include Breakfast cereals, soups, pasta, rice, pasta sauce, tinned beans, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tinned fruit, tea/coffee, sugar, biscuits and snacks etc.
Nutrition is a key focus on this service, they have worked with nutritionists to ensure food parcels contains sufficient nutrition for at least three-days worth of healthy, balanced meals for individuals and families.
Red bridge is able to adapt food parcels to dietary requirements such as halal, kosher, vegan, gluten free etc.
Whilst your food parcel is being selected you will be greeted with a tea and biscuit by one of the lovely volunteers who will offer you a confidential chat providing additional support on your situation.
The volunteers are specifically trained to deal with any crisis and can be great resource of additional support if necessary.
University Student Union Food Banks- If you’re a university student and perhaps need a more easily accessible way of providing for yourself with food and other essential items due to perhaps travel issues etc.
Check in with your student Union at university. Many student unions are implementing fantastic initiatives of easily accessible food-banks at their universities to their students and setting up donation tables that students can select from.
Remember, asking for help sometimes is the bravest thing you can do. There’s always someone willing to help you. No matter your circumstance. You are never alone.
Words: Natasha Shah | Subbing: Grace Staley