We have been working with the local food banks for over 2 years.
We can refer clients who have no money for food but only if we have provide advice and the clients is taking steps to resolve their issues.
Most of the referrals we have made are for
1. people appealing against a refusal for benefits – all appeal now have to go through a “mandatory” reconsideration. This involves the DWP reviewing their decision – which is a great idea except that NO benefits are payable during this review period which often taken around 1 month.
2. people waiting for a decision on eligibility to be taken. The report picked up on this as an issue: clients face lengthy waits for application , often for more documentation, for access to support to meet the basic in life – food and money for utilities.
Amina is severely disabled, among other things, being shot in both legs during war in Somalia causing permanent injury. Was refused ESA and given 0 points by DWP.
English is a second language for Amina . During the first stage – the mandatory appeal we had to refer Amina twice for help form the food bank to help her feed herself and stop her health deteriorating. Wrote detailed appeal letter arguing that she should be in support group and that DWP severely underestimated her disabilities. C given 33 points by Tribunal and placed in support group. If not had help she may not have won appeal or not been placed in support group.
Reed the whole independent report here