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Neighbour went to CAB and refused food bank voucher? what does she do next?

(31 Posts)
needtoleaveukforsunshine Wed 12-Jun-13 12:50:12

Looking for anybody with experience of food banks. My neighbour has just been round for a cup of tea and broke down in tears. She is a single parent student and has been really struggling as the part-time job which was helping her to manage has ended suddenly. She has put in a claim to the hardship fund at her university but has been told she won't hear for another week to 10 days. She told me that she went to the nearest CAB (10 miles away) by bus yesterday (cost her £5return) and was refused a food voucher. She is now in a panic about the next few days as has 2 children to feed (Dad not on on the scene).

I haven't got any spare cash this week but I made her a bag up of pasta/tinned tomato/some teabags/fruit juice/milk/eggs and tuna and a loaf of bread to see her through the next 24 hours. She is really worried about managing over the next week. She said the CAB were really unhelpful and wanted lots of written evidence about her hardship. She hasnt got this because she just submitted all her evidence to the university at the beginning of this week and they have told her over the phone that it is being processed. What does she do next? I thought the CAB were supposed to help people??

Any experts on here?

needtoleaveukforsunshine Wed 12-Jun-13 13:02:46

should have said she doesnt have any family to ask - parents both died few years ago and she has no siblings. She is quite isolated. Any ideas? I just rang the food bank and they said she should go back to CAB but she can't face it or afford the travel cost again.

AdoraBell Wed 12-Jun-13 13:29:28

Do you drive and have a bit of spare time? If so, could you take her to the CBA? Give her a bit of hand holding while she explains her situación, again. It must be difficult for them when applicants don't have the required info, could the Uní supply a letter?

Short term, invite them for tea any day that you are able to or Get a bit extra at the shop if you can spare the cash next week?

What age are her kids? Could she go to her HV or the school?

scaevola Wed 12-Jun-13 13:58:35

Can anyone at the university help get a faster decision or an interim award? Her tiptoe?

I don't think there is much CAB can do until she can provide them (or those they signpost to) with the required supporting documents. It's part of the price that the truly vulnerable have been forced to pay because of those who have in the past cried wolf sad

HV is a good idea - I think they can refer to food banks, which might ease the immediate food problem.

nameuschangeus Wed 12-Jun-13 14:02:25

I would go back to her university before the CAB. They will have a short-term hardship loans ystem which should be abel to give her £75 with little or no evidence. Her student union is likely to be able to give her a food parcel to tide her over too.

needtoleaveukforsunshine Wed 12-Jun-13 17:22:03

Hello. Her children are at school but she doesnt want to approach school as it is a very small community and another neighbour is the secretary and isn't very diplomatic. She has phoned university again and they have just said they can't do anything until the information has been assessed - tehy dont have short term/urgent loans as such. She can't get to Uni to get a food parcel either as that is over 40 mins away.
I will help her out as much as I can but she is clearly struggling and I don't have much to spare at the moment either - I would normally run her back to the CAB as suggested and hold her hand (speak up if they are being difficult) - but I am trying not to use my car much until end of next week when next get paid as don't want to put more petrol in.

I am really shocked that the CAB just sent her away. Surely they appreciate that most people are genuine and that it must take a lot to got and ask for foodbank help. I will try and see her in the morning and see if any progress or ideas.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 12-Jun-13 17:26:20

I don't think they are allowed to hand them out without full evidence anymore.

Too many were being claimed and sold.

Can she get uni to scan the documents so she can give them to the Cab too? Or go and scan them herself?

Her only other options would be to speak to the school or to see if the council will give her a budgeting loan for food, but shed probably need evidence for that, too.

I hope she can find a way to get a copy of what she needs.

sandiy Wed 12-Jun-13 18:59:04

Contact school nurse or health visitor they can telephone the food bank on her behalf and arrange for it to be delivered.Failing that telephone food bank directly they are usually brilliant when you explain.Your local church will also have links to food banks.I realise it sounds drastic but your local social services have to help in this situation Irealise that everyone thinks that they are the bad guys but actually they can be incredibly supportive in a crisis.They have no interest in removing children from loving parents care unless they are in danger of actual harm and this clearly isn't the case.hope this helps x

HeySoulSister Wed 12-Jun-13 19:19:35

Local church will help her. Doesn't matter if she doesn't attend

EeyoreIsh Wed 12-Jun-13 20:07:04

She should try the school, doctors or a church. All can give out vouchers.

SlowJinn Wed 12-Jun-13 20:11:33

She has to swallow her pride and tell the school, stuff the undiplomatic school secretary, let her gossip if that's her thing. Everyone has bad times and needs a helping hand from others. Talking to someone at the school will be the quickest way of resolving this in the short term.

Charlesroi Wed 12-Jun-13 22:18:05

I think her GP may also be able to refer. Also second the advice about contacting local religious organisations - any will help, doesn't matter about religion. You can always get a meal at a Sikh temple, if you have any locally.

Hoophopes Thu 13-Jun-13 00:17:29

Hopefully the children will be on free school meals, if not an area to sort out. Religious groups I agree are a way to go. School, health visitor and social services for support also. Ay friends or other neighbours to help out as well?

worriedsick100 Thu 13-Jun-13 16:17:11

have pmed you.

Triumphoveradversity Thu 13-Jun-13 17:55:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chanatan Thu 13-Jun-13 17:59:22

Have a look here,it seems crisis loans are now administered by district councils.

needtoleaveukforsunshine Thu 13-Jun-13 20:17:20

hello - thanks to all those who replied. I made a few phone calls this morning and was told she could call at the local vicarage. I took her and she was welcomed with a cup of tea while the vicar's wife filled in the food voucher details - no evidence asked for - she was very kind. We then went to the food bank and my neighbour now has bags full of lovely food and looks about 10 years younger than yesterday grin. I think the vicars wife has restored her faith in humanity - she said it was humiliating at the CAB yesterday and she felt that she was being judged as not really in need. Alls well that ends well. Hopefully she will hear from her university next week. thanks again

AdoraBell Thu 13-Jun-13 21:00:14

Glad she now has food, and faith in humanity.
Well done for making those calls.

Lomaamina Thu 13-Jun-13 21:00:38

What a lovely person you are OP! It sounds as if you have gone above and beyond what many would do. It's so lovely to hear that te system worked after all.

And power of Mumsnet knowledge of course has helped too.

Triumphoveradversity Thu 13-Jun-13 21:14:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 14-Jun-13 16:39:46

I need to start donating to food banks, I'm sure it wouldn't cost me a lot.

You feel so trapped when there's just no money coming in at all.

Well done op, I'm glad the vicars wife was so kind.

specialsubject Sat 15-Jun-13 11:18:55

good news.

'dad is not on the scene'. So does that mean he escapes all responsibility?

also, is she getting all the benefits to which she is entitled?

dotnet Sat 15-Jun-13 17:29:45

Very glad things are sorted; I think she should be able to use the food bank as long as she needs it now.
I'd been going to suggest that she appeal via noticeboards at the university, for help from the skip-diving fraternity/sorority. Some students liberate food from skips outside supermarkets - there are still supermarket chains which prefer to throw food away, than to give it away.
Your friend might not want to skip dive herself, but it may be that some students where she is, DO do it, and would be willing to let her have some of their plunder if she outlined how she was fixed.

needtoleaveukforsunshine Sat 15-Jun-13 18:53:07

Hello - thanks all for messages.

Update on this - she got a phone call from her uni on friday afternoon telling her they had looked at her as a priority and they have a panel this monday to decide what she willl get - whatever they decide on she should get next week.

Special subject - I know absent fathers should take responsibility -but he isnt on the scene for a very specific reason - and she wants to keep it that way - so wouldnt be looking to him for any support.

She thinks her benefits - student money is all correct but she is going to look at it.
thanks all again.

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