CLERGY know plenty about self-discipline and sacrifice.
Now one vicar is so determined to beat poverty he has vowed to live on a foodbank budget until there is a proper debate held on the increased use of such facilities across the UK.
The Rev Stuart Elliott, vicar of Llanasa and Ffynnongroyw, is taking part in the Foodbank Challenge.
This challenge encourages people to spend just £30 over the course of three days on feeding a family of four.
Mr Elliott said undertaking the challenge would help him and others recognise how difficult it is for people struggling against poverty.
Additionally, he hopes it will raise awareness of Britain’s increasing reliance on foodbanks.
He said: “This sharp rise in the last few years should ring alarm bells. While the work of those donating and giving out food parcels should be commended, the urgent question is ‘exactly why are so many in such poverty?’ While individuals and groups are supporting each other in this crisis, politicians appear to be blaming each other and doing little.
“The Foodbank Challenge invites people to engage with the issues by experiencing a little of the difficulties of living on a tight budget.
“Even with food given to them, many are unable to cook it due to multiple poverty issues of fuel and finance.
“It is time to find solutions to these issues.”
Mr Elliott is undertaking the Foodbank Challenge with his wife, Helen, and teenage daughters, Rebecca and Chloe.
It will see the family spent no more than £10 a day on food.
People trying the challenge alone are tasked with spending just £14 every three days for a single person – the approximate value of a foodbank parcel.
Foodbanks in Flintshire have already been helping more than 6,000 people in the county to access food as they struggle to cope in the current economic climate.
More than a third fed by the banks are children.
In the face of the very high demand, seven foodbanks have been opened in different parts of the county.
A mobile service has also begun operating.
Delyn MP David Hanson said: “The Flintshire Foodbank does invaluable work helping people in our community who are really struggling to get by and the new mobile truck will help them reach even more people in need.
“The volunteers who make the foodbank happen should be congratulated for their hard work and dedication, but it should be a source of disappointment and shame more and more people are needing to turn to this service in times of crisis.”
You can find out more about the Foodbank Challenge on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FoodbankFast