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More than 41,000 West Midlanders relied on emergency supplies from food banks this year – triple the amount who asked for help in the previous 12 months. Katy Hallam visited a Birmingham charity which blames benefit cuts for the extra demands.

Life has been never been tougher for April Farrell and 16-year-old daughter Kasey since a devastating fire ripped through their home in March.

The traumatised pair lost everything in the blaze, including Kasey’s GCSE revision notes and the treasured belongings of April’s recently deceased husband Mark.

Forced to share bunk beds in a cramped, single room of a Handsworth hostel, the mother and daughter are now one of thousands of families across the West Midlands turning to emergency food banks to survive.

“I was nervous about coming in, I felt really ashamed,” said April, 52, on her second visit to Birmingham Central Foodbank at Ladywood’s Church of the Redeemer.

“I’ve never relied on anybody before but we had no choice.”

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source: Birmingham Mail
published: 2 June 2013

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