This story about an interaction at a Food Bank was first shared on ISRA-UK’s Instagram and has been shared here with their permission. We are looking to share other stories about support within our community, so do send them through to us!
When they come to us, it’s not just about picking up a food pack. We sit with each individual and have a long conversation. We listen and if we can we advise and signpost them for more support.
Yesterday a referral came in to the food bank. I try always to look beyond the cover and not judge the book. But books do have covers by which they are advertised.
1st impressions and all that. Anyway let’s call him Dave. Dave looked rough and ready if you know what I mean. Tattoos, but not the arty ones, more like the ones you can get in prison.
So before we went through to sort him out with some provisions to get him by, while his benefits are sorted out. He said “I have something that belongs to you.” He handed me an envelope with a cheque in it that the post man must have accidentally dropped outside.
OK, I know he probably couldn’t have cashed the cheque even if he wanted to, but I appreciated his honesty. Which smashed any preconceptions that we all get crossing our minds.
While I was filling his shopping bags. He explained to me his housing situation a little bit deeper. He lives in a bedsit with other residents who have serious drug problems. It gets violent and things get stolen. He himself doesn’t use drugs and he wants to get away from it all.
I called a colleague in the housing sector and got him a viewing the same day.
He called me in the evening to say thanks, he liked the new place which is well away from the trouble he was having.