KENTON Labour members have raised £1,000 to support Kenton Food Bank as recent figures reveal that over 1 in 3 youngsters both in Kenton and nearby Blakelaw and Fawdon are trapped in child poverty.
The Go Fund to raise cash for the food bank is the brainchild of Brian Dickinson, a Kenton businessman and local Kenton councillor Stephen Lambert.
Mr Dickinson, spokesman for Kenton Labour Party, said : ” During the one year lockdown it’s been families and households on low incomes who have been hit hard. We feel strongly about food poverty. This cash should go some way to help alleviate it.”
Coun Lambert said: ”Kenton Food bank provides an essential service when so many families and older people are struggling to make ends meet. We’re pleased to help out alongside other groups such as the Montagu Residents Facebook community group who made a huge donation last month.”
”But the fact that it exists at all should be cause of shame for such a wealthy society,” he added.
Coun Lambert unveiled a raft of other measures that are aiming to combat child and family poverty.
- Kenton School ”Poverty Proofed”. The 1,800 school, is helping to overcome barriers that local youngsters face from less well backgrounds. According to Coun Lambert, a community governor, the school has worked with parents who have suffered during the pandemic. Laptops, free school meal vouchers and food parcels have been delivered during term time and holidays;
- 1in 4 school sixth formers and FE students at Kenton, Gosforth, Sacred Heart and St Mary’s are in receipt of £15 a week -bursaries from Newcastle City Council to support their A-level./Btec studies;
- Kenton Benefit Advice service is being rolled out for another year funded by the Ward Committee. Since it began in 2014 the service, based at Kenton Centre, has enabled more vulnerable and cash strapped residents get the cash help they need.
Coun Lambert, chair of the Ward committee, said : ”The service has helped hundreds of our residents to successfully claim age-related and disability-related benefits like Pension Credit and PIP. With unemployment rising sharply across the north west of the city scores more residents both out of work and in work have successfully claimed Universal Credit.”
”Household poverty is everyone’s business both in Kenton and across the city”, he added.