With the cost of living crisis getting worse by the day there are more and more people in Plymouth relying on emergency food provision.
Last weekend Luke visited the Stonehouse Community Fridge in Leadworks on Rendle Street just opposite Larry Speare’s showroom. It was a year ago that Luke first visited the community fridge that was started thanks to support from the Co-op and Hubbub.
A year on Luke joined volunteers to hear about the huge increase in demand they’ve seen. They’ve given out food to over 3,000 people weighing 12.5 tons. The volunteers here and at all our emergency food organisations from the Foodbank to the Soup Run are brilliant, but Luke said Plymouth should not need them.
As the Government continues to put its head in the sand over the cost of living crisis, Luke fears more people will need to rely on food help like this. Luke wants to see the millionaires in the Cabinet realise that they need to act in order to help people. An emergency budget, a windfall tax on surging profits of oil and gas companies to help families with up to £600 off their bills and cutting VAT on fuel is all needed. Luke said that we will need to go further, but when the Conservatives refuse to act, it only forces more and more people on low, fixed and now middle incomes into poverty.
“The cost of living crisis shows what happens when the Government takes its eye off the ball. The lack of a response shows what happens when a Government loses its way. The refusal of Ministers to adopt a popular and helpful policy like the windfall tax on surging oil and gas company profits shows what happens when a Government puts big business profits ahead of people. It doesn’t have to be like this – Britain really does deserve better. It is shameful that in a rich country like ours, so many people are unable to afford food for their family.”
Luke thanked all the volunteers who have supported the Stonehouse Community Fridge in its first year, adding that one day he hopes it will close down because it is no longer needed – but we are nowhere near that day yet.