'I had never been to a foodbank before and wasn't sure what to expect...
I felt rather overwhelmed but only because of the genuine kindness and generosity of everyone there... I can't tell you how relieved I am to know that my children are going to be able to eat okay.'
'I just wanted to thank you all so much.'
Natalie left this note for the volunteers at the foodbank after she visited with her little boy.
Like many others who struggle in silence, she had hit a crisis point where she couldn't afford enough food. It's distressing and depressing to face hunger, especially when you have children. Thanks to small acts of kindness from so many different people, the foodbank was able to be there for this mum, giving her three days' emergency food and support.
Today is the official #RAKweek #RandomActsOfKindnessDay. We're so thankful that we see so many acts of kindness every day at foodbanks, and some of them are just so heart-warming that we thought they needed sharing...
Age is no barrier to helping stop hunger
Last month seven-year-old Stewart asked his friends and family to donate food to the foodbank rather than give him any birthday presents. He felt sad thinking about people who couldn't afford food or gifts, and he thought that he had enough toys, so he got people to donate food instead. His mum said he was 'chuffed' with the huge pile of food that friends and family gave.
When Scotland's oldest, and much loved, foodbank volunteer Elsie Walsh, 89, passed away just before Christmas tributes poured in across the area to the 'inspirational' Inverclyde tea lady. She volunteered two days a week to make tea and pack food parcels. Her daughter said:
"Mum was at her happiest when doing her 'job' at the foodbank and was so proud to wear her uniform.
"She told practically everyone she met about her work in the foodbank and how privileged she felt to be part of the project and to be making a difference in people's lives.
"Her legacy is of a woman who lived life to the full."
Solicitor Alice Biggar, 26, made headlines last year when she challenged herself to live below the poverty line, which meant feeding herself for £1 a day, every day for a whole month. She raised over £700 for The Trussell Trust and Save The Children, including a personal donation of the £300 she saved on food!
"I started with porridge, then cheese paste on crumpets, 2night I'm off to the reduced sections" Alice Biggar-spending £1/day on food in Jan— BBC R4 World Tonight (@BBCWorldTonight) January 30, 2015
Going the extra mile
A chat about being grateful led nine-year-olds Alexander and Lana to run 26km in 26 days to raise funds for Worcester foodbank. The two friends finished with a tough 5km run.
Meanwhile Personal Trainer, John Warburton, 28, offered free training sessions in return for people giving food for the foodbank, and was given five car loads of food as a result! Amazing!
Big problems need people with big hearts:
13 million people live in poverty in the UK today. Low pay, welfare problems, domestic abuse, bereavement, and something as simple as an unexpected bill, are some of the reasons why people need help from foodbanks.
Big hearted people made it possible for Trussell Trust foodbanks to give over a million three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis last year. And we need more people like them to join us this year. Here are three acts of kindness that you could do to help stop UK hunger:
1. Give a tin or two to your local foodbank
Over 90% of the food distributed by Trussell Trust foodbanks is donated by the public.
Everyone who has ever donated a tin of tuna or carton of UHT milk at the end of their weekly shop has performed a simple, but crucial, act of kindness that ensures a foodbank can provide emergency food to people who need it the most. Find out how to give food
2. Volunteer at your local foodbank
Last year, over 42,000 foodbank volunteers gave their time to help people in crisis. Volunteers are at the heart of everything foodbanks do. From helping out a supermarket collection, to offering cups of tea, tissues, and a listening ear to foodbank clients, we're so touched by our amazing volunteers' acts of kindness. Find out about volunteering.
3. Donate the cost of a cup of coffee today
From donating the cost of your morning coffee/tea/tube fare, to donating the cost of a month's worth of coffees, every act of kindness has an impact. I'd like to give.
To stop UK hunger we all need to be in this together. This Random Acts of Kindness Week, will you join the fight against food poverty?
Find out more at: www.trusselltrust.org