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Increase in food poverty and demand for emergency food parcels, above Trussell Trust’s national figures

1st May 2020

 

Slough Foodbank reports increase in food poverty and demand for emergency food parcels, above the national figures released by The Trussell Trust today.

Demand for our services has increased as more families are finding themselves in financial difficulties due to the effects of Covid-19. There is a real and imminent need in the Slough area. Our weekly stats have indicated that many more families are in poverty and today we are reporting our busiest ever period for the 3 months January – March 2020.

 

Key stats Jan – Mar 2020 (compared with Jan – Mar 2019):

  • 755 referrals made by agencies
  • 1,637 people helped
  • 43% increase in number of people helped overall
  • 64% increase in number of children helped
  • 32% increase in number of adults helped

 

Today the Trussell reports a soaring 81% increase for emergency food parcels from food banks in its network during the last two weeks of March 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 – including a 122% rise in parcels given to children – as the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold.

 

The stats for Slough Foodbank are unfortunately far higher than the national figure reported by the Trussell Trust for the same two-week period 16 – 31 March 2020.

 

Key stats 16 – 31 March 2020 (compared with 16-31 Mar 2019)

 

% increase

Slough Foodbank

% increase Trussell Trust National network
People helped 162% 81%
Children helped 179% 122%

 

 

Slough Foodbank Manager, Sue Sibany-King, commented:

“It is incredibly heart-breaking to be reporting this huge increase in the need for our services in the first 3 months of 2020. For the full year of 2019 we saw a 19% increase in the number of food parcels supplied, so these further sharp increases are a real and stark picture of the effect Covid-19 is having on individuals and families within the Slough area.

This reflects the picture that foodbanks are experiencing across the UK as outlined in the statement put out today by The Trussell Trust in coalition with anti-poverty charities, who are calling for a temporary Coronavirus Emergency Income Support Scheme to ensure people facing financial hardship can access the resources needed to stay afloat.

Whilst the pandemic is responsible for an increase in need, it has highlighted that so many were struggling in poverty before it took hold and therefore were totally unable to withstand an extra crisis. Numbers have been increasing steadily since September last year because many households just do not have sufficient income to pay costs like rent and buy food. This has to be addressed quickly and we should not accept that in the 6th richest country we still have poverty and homelessness.

Covid-19 has affected us as a charity and we have had to make significant changes to the way we run such as operating from behind closed doors and social distancing at distribution centres and our warehouse as well as pre-packing food parcels in the warehouse to speed up distribution to clients. We are now also delivering to those isolating and shielding. However, we have, as always, focused on our prime objective which is to provide three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced, emergency food to local people who are referred in crisis.

This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our volunteers and those who support us through donations of food and money – my sincere thanks goes to them all.”

 

Read the full report from The Trussell Trussell: https://www.trusselltrust.org/2020/05/01/coalition-call/

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