Free books given away at food banks

Free books given away at food banks

Booktrust has given away 2,500 children’s books to foodbanks as part of this month’s National Book Start Week.

Between 9th-15th June, the charity gave away copies of Jez Alborough’s Super Duck (HarperCollins) to 60 foodbanks in England in partnership with Trussell Trust Foodbank network.

Elizabeth Maytom, project leader at the West Norwood and Brixton foodbank in London, said giving free books to families who are struggling financially is a “positive initiative”.

She said: “Books and toys are low down on priorities for families. Money will be spent on rent, energy, travel, food and sometimes school uniforms. We often try to give Christmas presents and Easter books for children but it hasn't been easy. So a little book to take away and read at night is really positive.”

One visitor to the foodbank, Jessica Smith, was excited to receive a copy of the book for her three-month old daughter. She said: “I didn't have a happy childhood; I never had a story read to me. If you ask me to name my favourite book I can't. I don't want Olivia to have that childhood so I read to her all the time. I even read to her while I was pregnant.”

The Trussell Trust network said it helped 913,138 people in crisis during 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2014. Out of that total, 330,205 were children.

Booktrust is now looking to supply foodbanks with free books during next year’s National Bookstart Week. Any interested groups can contact nbw@booktrust.org.uk.