COMMENT: Families in need bank on support

Outsiders who see Oxfordshire as an affluent, rural county may say say it has little need for emergency food banks.

This view will be exaggerated even more when it comes to West Oxfordshire – home to the Prime Minister and gaggles of celebrities epitomised, of course, by the so-called Chipping Norton set.

But those who live and work in our county will know the reality is often a starkly different one.

Today we report on mum-of-four Joanne Cypher, the woman behind West Oxfordshire’s first food bank.

And her actions stem from a very personal reason for wanting to help those in need. Fourteen years ago Mrs Cypher herself found it difficult to feed her children.

The more fortunate among us may dismiss the importance of what she and scores of other food bank volunteers across Oxfordshire are doing. But the fact of the matter is very few of us are immune to finding ourselves in a similar situation. A sudden illness, family break-up, redundancy or simply a run of bad luck could see a surprising number of us needing such help.

So when we visit our corner shop or supermarket let’s try to remember that. It only takes a minute and a couple of pounds to add an extra tin or packet to our shopping trolley.

And to a family in dire need, that could make an enormous difference.

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