Case studies: ‘I wouldn’t be here without that help’
FOUR different people who have benefited from food parcels.
Case study 1
SHAUNA Rothery does not know where she would be had it not been for food parcels.
The 25-year-old from Dundee said: “I was staying with my mum but the relationship broke down and I found myself homeless.
“I was living in a shelter in Dundee and, although I got my heating paid for, I had to buy my own food.
“I probably would not be here but for the food parcels.
“It took a while for benefits to be put in place, and even when they were, there was not enough to feed myself.”
As well as feeding her, the Trussell Trust put her in touch with agencies that helped her get back on her feet.
Shauna said: “I managed to get my own place, got a job – I would not be where I am today were it not for the help I received.”
Case study 2
A Citizens Advice Bureau in the west of Scotland referred a woman with diabetes for a food parcel because she was left without benefits for weeks as a result of delays.
The woman has been using a wheelchair for almost a year because of a degenerative disease linked to her diabetes.
She applied for employment and support allowance (ESA) but was classed as fit for work and was told to apply for jobseeker’s allowance (JSA).
When she made the JSA application, the woman was then told she was indeed not fit for work and should reapply for ESA.
Although she had made the claim three weeks before, she was told it could take another 14 days to process her application.
As well as referring her for a food parcel, bureau staff asked the DWP to deal with her benefit claim as a matter of urgency.
Case study 3
A CITIZENS Advice Bureau in the west of Scotland reported that one man whom staff were helping has to rely on food parcels from local churches.
The man, who is homeless, said a sanction was applied to his jobseeker’s allowance because he missed a date for signing on for the second time this year.
As he could not claim a hardship payment or crisis loan, he was referred for food parcels, which he came to rely on to survive.
Case study 4
A MAN in the west of Scotland had to be helped after he was told he could not have another welfare crisis loan because he had already had three that year. Two of that year’s loans were needed because of delays in processing his ESA application.
Citizens Advice Bureau staff phoned the Department for Work and Pensions which confirmed he could not apply for a crisis loan for another two months. The man was then referred to a local church for a food parcel, while his electricity supplier provided a one-off credit of £25 to his meter.
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