Campaign to ‘donate price of a pint’ set up to support Southwark food bank

Katherine Johnston (10 April, 2020)

1.2 million people have applied for Universal Credit since the lockdown was announced

26907A volunteer at Pecan foodbank pictured in 2018

A fundraising campaign has been set up asking locked down pub-goers to donate the price of their usual pint to Southwark food bank instead.

The appeal – ‘Can I Go To The Pub?’ – also has a range of downloadable posters to put up inside your windows to encourage other people to stay at home.
Southwark food bank has so far raised over £51,000 during the COVID-19 crisis.  People already struggling to afford food are being hit hardest by shortages, long queues and redundancies at work.
Even before Coronavirus the service had seen a huge rise in demand since the first cohort of Universal Credit claimants were moved onto the system before the nationwide roll out.
In December 2018 we reported how the new system, and delays in first payments, had create a surge of food bank users who had been pushed into poverty. Many had also been pushed into rent arrears.
The food bank’s chief executive Chris Price told the News that around 80 per cent of new people coming through its doors do so because of Universal Credit, and that demand had shot up by a third since the benefits system change in 2017.
Now, in just three weeks since the lockdown was announced, a staggering 1.2 million people have applied for Universal Credit.  Many are workers not eligible for furlough schemes or in precarious work such as zero hours contracts.
Self employed and freelancers are also being urged to apply for Universal Credit for support during the crisis; despite the five-week wait leaving many vulnerable to racking up debt.

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