ASHA started collecting food around 10 years ago to give asylum seekers a little extra at Christmas. Before long asylum seekers began to look to ASHA for help when for one reason or another they had no food. The Women’s Club drew up a list of ‘survival’ items such as pasta, long grain rice, sunflower cooking oil, tinned tuna and tomatoes, some pulses and sugar.
Today, a certain degree of rationing is becoming necessary. There are more asylum seekers who have no recourse to public funds and who are not allowed to work. They, along with individuals and families suddenly facing an unexpected expense which throws them into crisis are seen as a priority.
Food Bank voucher may be given to an asylum seeker who has received ‘leave to remain’ but are unable to claim Job Seeker’s Allowance until they have received a National Insurance number, however if you, or someone that you know is struggling, please come to ASHA for support.
With a widening circle of organisations, people and faith groups donating food no-one in need is turned away and ASHA will continue to do its best not to turn anyone in need away.
Some of our donors include Lichfield Food Bank who provide food when ASHA stock is low and they have a surplus and Tesco’s Community Food Connection who provide fresh produce twice a week.
On average ASHA gives out 300-350 food bags each month and the support from all of our partners ensures that people in need do not go hungry.
ASHA’s Most Wanted Food is now Basmati Rice, Sunflower Cooking Oil, Long Life Milk, Tinned Tuna and Tinned Tomatoes. We also need a steady supply of biscuits, coffee and jam so users can enjoy refreshments when they call in.