Find all the latest news and events from the foodbank. If you are a member of the press and would like to cover any of our stories please contact us, we'd be happy to work with you.
News and events
- 1,084,604 people received three days’ emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks in 2014-15 compared to 913,138 in 2013-14
- Council Benefit changes account for 44% of referrals to foodbanks.
- Other reasons include Low income, Debt, Homelessness, Dometic violence, refused STBA, sickness etc.
Over 1 Million adults and children have received three days’ emergency food and support from Trussell Trust foodbanks in the last 12 months. Despite signs of economic recovery, the poorest have seen incomes squeezed even more than last year reports The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest foodbank network. More people are being referred to Trussell Trust foodbanks than ever before.
Static incomes, rising living costs, low pay, underemployment and problems with welfare, especially sanctioning, are significant drivers of the increased demand. 83 percent of Trussell Trust foodbanks surveyed recently [see notes below] reported that benefits sanctions, which have become increasingly harsh, have caused more people to be referred to them for emergency food. Half of referrals to foodbanks in 2013-14 were a result of benefit delays or changes.
The Trussell Trust’s Chairman, Chris Mould, says:
‘That 900,000 people have received three days’ food from a foodbank, close to triple the numbers helped last year, is shocking in 21st century Britain. But perhaps most worrying of all this figure is just the tip of the iceberg of UK food poverty, it doesn’t include those helped by other emergency food providers, those living in towns where there is no foodbank, people who are too ashamed to seek help or the large number of people who are only just coping by eating less and buying cheap food. [See Notes below]
In the last year we’ve seen things get worse, rather than better, for many people on low-incomes. It’s been extremely tough for a lot of people, with parents not eating properly in order to feed their children and more people than ever experiencing seemingly unfair and harsh benefits sanctions.
Unless there is determined policy action to ensure that the benefits of national economic recovery reach people on low-incomes we won’t see life get better for the poorest anytime soon.
A more thoughtful approach to the administration of the benefits regime and sanctions in particular, increasing the minimum wage, introducing the living wage and looking at other measures such as social tariffs for essentials like energy would help to address the problem of UK hunger.’
Whilst there has been a 163 percent increase in foodbank use, there has only been a 45 percent increase in the number of new Trussell Trust foodbanks opening in the last year. The rate of new foodbanks opening has reduced from three a week in 2012/13 to two a week in 2013/14. The Trussell Trust has launched over 400 foodbanks across the UK to date.
Foodbanks that have been open for three years or more have seen an average increase of 51% in numbers helped in 2013-14 compared to 2012-13, showing that well established foodbanks are experiencing significant uplift in demand.
The Trussell Trust’s figures further reinforce evidence from the recent government-commissioned DEFRA report that increased foodbank use is not a question of supply, but of meeting a real and growing need.
Increasingly, Trussell Trust foodbanks are partnering with other agencies to provide additional services such as welfare advice, budgeting help and debt support at the foodbank, helping people to break out of crisis. They are also providing essentials like washing powder, nappies and hygiene products to families who are at breaking point.
Oxfam's Head of UK Poverty Programme, Rachael Orr said: "The fact that the number of people forced to turn to food banks has doubled in the last year and the situation is worsening for people in poverty is deeply worrying.
"Foodbanks and the thousands of people who support them are doing an impressive job in helping stop people from going hungry, but the truth is that in a country as rich as the UK there should not be food poverty at all. The Government needs to provide adequate support to the poorest in society and urgently tackle the low incomes and rising bills that are leaving people hungry."
From April 2014-2015, Bexley Foodbank fed 4,547 people. This figure more than doubled our figures from last year.
We recently had an article in the Bexley New Shopper regarding a visit from the Bishop of Rochester and Churches in Erith opening a Porto cabin to help serve our clients.
Local supermarkets who support us by having permanent donation trolleys are:-
- Asda & Sainsburys Bexleyheath
- Waitrose Sidcup
- Morrisons Erith
- Tesco Welling
Tesco Welling also have shopping days where every shopper can donate on the 5th & 6th of July 2015.
Total food donated (In weight) to us last year by churches, schools and local residents - 44771KG
Total food (In weight) donated to clients - 38317KG
We're looking for volunteers to help run the foodbank. If you can spare a few hours a week, why not get in touch. There are lots of things that need doing from sorting food and fundraising to meeting clients and supermarket collections. Why not see where you fit in?