A CITY businessman who was forced to use a foodbank to survive is sharing his story during this year’s Trussell Trust BBC Lifeline Appeal.
Coventry Foodbank project manager Hugh McNeill features on the nine-minute appeal film on BBC One at 2.05pm this Sunday, October 24, presented by Rev Kate Bottley who found fame on Gogglebox.
Thanks to the support of his local foodbank, Hugh is now able to help others and highlight the need to end emergency parcels in the UK.
Hugh was a successful businessman and homeowner, but in 2013 his business collapsed and he lost everything. He reached out to Coventry Foodbank for help.
He said: “On an emotional level you feel it’s really difficult because you feel you are a failure; you feel that you have let your family down.
“You find yourself in a really low place and the realisation came to us that we couldn’t put food on the table, and we were going to need help.”
“Volunteering at the foodbank changed my life because I began to understand some of the needs that were out there in the community.”
The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of more than 1,300 food bank centres providing emergency food and financial advice to people in crisis and campaigning for a future where everyone in the UK is able to afford the essentials, like food.
Last year, foodbanks in the Trussell Trust network provided over 2.5million emergency parcels to people in crisis, which is more than a third more than the previous year.
Almost 1million of those were for children – two food parcels for children every minute.
Rev Kate said: “It’s not right anyone in our country is unable to afford the absolute essentials, like food, clothing and heating.
“I’ve seen first-hand the incredible work foodbanks in the Trussell Trust’s network do to help the people most in need of support, but no charity can replace the dignity of having enough money to buy your own food.”
She added it was a cause very close to her heart and urged people to support the ‘amazing charity’ if they could to support people locked in poverty and campaign for a future where everyone could afford the essentials.
The appeal will also be broadcast on BBC Two at 3.05pm on Thursday, October 28, and be available on iPlayer.