Poet Yrsa Daley-Ward writes poetry on BDCA Food Club

Poet Yrsa Daley-Ward’s latest collection of poems, Unspoken Words, was inspired by her visit to Bonny Downs Food Club. Her poetry amplifies the voice of those in our community facing food insecurity. Her video, produced by RANKIN, can be watched here: https://youtu.be/Vw-sQ0BGhqM
Yrsa visited our Food Club to listen to our shoppers and volunteers sharing their experience, as part of Sainsbury’s and Comic Relief’s partnership programme called Nourish the Nation.
1 in 7 people in the UK have faced food insecurity in the last 12 months, but this rises to 1 in 3 in the most deprived areas, such as Newham (The Trussell Trust report).
Most of our Food Club shoppers are employed yet struggle to pay for basic needs such as food and heating. For a £5 entry fee, our Food Club shoppers receive tokens to buy items they need ranging from fresh fruit and vegetables to cleaning products, which would typically total over £20. This helps them stretch their budget to meet other essential costs such as utility bills and prevent them falling into a financial crisis.
Yrsa Daley-Ward said: “It was a privilege to hear the real, personal experiences of those at the Bonny Downs Food Club – their openness allowed me to create authentic poems about the experiences of those facing food poverty. Witnessing the sense of community a food club provides its users, it’s evident that these services and hubs offer a place of comfort and friendship, outside of just groceries. I hope the poems do justice to the real conversations that inspired them and help to highlight the vital support food clubs provide.”
Sarah Laing, CEO of BDCA, said: “The poems Yrsa has produced are beautiful and capture the sense of community within our Food Club and at BDCA generally. It is heartbreaking that people, despite working, are not able to afford basic needs such as food. We are proud to be able to serve our community as they need us.”
Samir Patel, CEO of Comic Relief, said: “Millions of people in the UK are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and face impossible choices. Many are in need of help and support. We are proud to be working with a range of organisations and incredible individuals who are helping to make a difference in the lives of so many families and communities across the country.”
You can read more about the impact of our Food Club here, as told by our volunteers and shoppers. To support our work, you can donate here or join us as a volunteer. If you need help, find out more about our Community Support services here.

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