We all know about the recent news and what people have been doing to stock up on supplies for fear of needing to be locked up (voluntarily) at home for some time and worrying that they’ll run out of essential items.  The news is awash with a lot of scary stories which lead to many becoming fearful that things will get worse, and this has led to mass panic when it comes to buying items in supermarkets and shops.  The fact is that supermarkets around the country are facing mass food shortages that haven’t been seen since probably World War II, but in building up supplies, are some of us forgetting our charitable nature and do you care about what will happen to those most in need?

A reflection of the past

I don’t enjoy talking about the recent news events because I do believe that the more we focus on scary news stories the more we can get caught up in the panic and cause our own problems with mental health and depression.  But something very troubling has recently been in my mind and it came about from a recent visit to the shops.  We all know about the panic buying that’s been happening.  Store cupboard items like pasta, rice, toilet rolls, etc. have been disappearing from shelves with shoppers even going so far as to line up outside supermarkets daily in order to buy up the newly delivered goods.  As someone with many relatives who are Polish, it’s a chilling image to see the supermarkets in the same state as they were in the 1980s in Poland, especially when they tell me that Britain was supposed to be the land of hope where they’d never need to fear a lack of supplies or mass hunger again. 

As much as the panic buying is causing problems for everyone, what worries me more is how quickly people have forgotten their charitable nature.  As a nation of people, the British have always been proud to give to charity, whether it’s sending money to charities, arranging sponsored events or even giving a few extra supplies to local food banks.  But in the last few weeks it seems that this charitable nature has disappeared and food banks in particular are suffering from the shortage.

The need for charity

At my local supermarket I’ve always been proud to see these wheelie bins at the back of the shop, beyond the tills.  It’s a place to put something extra you may have bought, like extra dry foods or even sanitary supplies, all of which is sent to a local food bank.  The bins are always filled with items whenever I go to the shop, and very often by the end of the day, they are not only filled, but overflowing with the lids unable to close due to so many items being added.  The kind people who can afford to give a little extra do so and it does make a big difference to people’s lives.

Foodbanks rely on charity like this, because without the charity they struggle to have enough food to supply everyone who needs it.  But on my latest trips to the supermarket, I open these bins, and they are empty, every single time. 😦  In people’s panic to buy up all supplies in shops, the apparent charitable nature of so many people has disappeared.  Entire supermarkets filled with enough food to last everyone in the community for a long time, and now everyone is keeping it for themselves.  Nobody seems to be able to spare just a one small packet of rice, or pasta, or sugar, or anything to give to someone who really needs it, and it breaks my heart every time I see those bins as I imagine in my mind just how devastated people who are really in need will be when they have no food.

Foodbanks only exist in the country because people cannot afford to feed themselves, because the financial crisis of the past put them in a position where they don’t have enough.  People struggle endlessly to make ends meet, and they often just don’t have enough to feed their starving children or themselves.  These people rely on the generosity of food banks, in order to have enough staple cupboard items to be able to feed themselves.  But without donated supplies foodbanks are now struggling to have enough supplies to feed those who cannot afford to buy anything.

Thinking of others

Nobody wants to rely on a foodbank, but some people do.  Unlike the way some people or politicians have portrayed foodbanks in the past, they are not available to everyone who feels like using them, but only to those without enough money to feed themselves.  They are run by lovely charitable people who give their free time to get food and important supplies like sanitry products and nappies to those who have nothing.  And the people who use them are no different to you and me, they are normal people who are simply struggling on their low income to afford to eat.  Donations into foodbank bins at supermarkets make a big difference to peoples lives.  It gives these people a chance to feed their children, to feed themselves, to feel normal again, and these people go out of their way to make their supplies last as long as possible.

But without regular donations to these foodbank bins, and with supermarkets cleared of most of their dry goods stock, the foodbanks in every part of the country will eventually suffer, leading to more and more people unable to feed themselves of their children.  With people also facing the possibility of unpaid time off work, especially those with low incomes or zero hours countracts, the number of people needing foodbanks will increase.  So please spare a thought when you are next out shopping for supplies.  It’s not just the elderly and vulnerable shoppers in your area that need supplies to be available in your local supermarkets and shops.  Foodbanks also need supplies to continue to help those very vulnerable and in need.

Let’s not be a nation of selfish hoarders, who take far more than is needed with disregard to others.  Let’s all be the beautiful and charitable people I know we can be and please only take what you truly need, and give anything you can afford to, even something small, to those who really need it.  We can all think of others during a time like this, think of those who may be vulnerable in our local area.  It’s not just the elderly who are vulnerable but a whole host of different people of various ages could be classed as vulnerable during a time like this.  It isn’t right that these people should go without, during a time of such mass fear and panic.

Be mindful and kind

Not all of us can afford to give something and that is okay, but what we can do is be more mindful and kind to one another.  Despite what the media and news say about these troubling times, the amount of people currently who are or have been ill or worse is very low when compared with winter flu throughout the years.  It’s also worth remembering that stress (caused by worry and fear) can make your health and immune system worse, so try not to spend all your time thinking about what the media says, take a good amount of time away from social media and the news.  And please keep others in mind as you shop, or as you go about your daily life.  Don’t treat everyone who sneezes or coughs as if they are freaks (a friend of mine sneezed a while back due to an allergy and everyone in the area suddenly gave her the most appalling looks).  And don’t take more than you truly need, because there are others who need things too.

Take care of yourself and those around you but don’t forget to be kind and charitable when you can.  With a positive mindset and a kind heart (and less time reading those panic-inducing news headlines), we can all get through this time together. 🙂  Have a wonderful, blessed and healthy day everyone! ❤

How do you feel about the latest happenings?  Are you doing anything to be mindful or caring at this time?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂