Northern Devon Foodbank reveals they provided 7,141 three day emergency food parcels to local people between April 2018 to March 2019. Of this number, 2,497 went to children.
The local Foodbank’s figures feed into a larger national picture with a record increase in food bank use across the UK reported today by the Trussell Trust.
Northern Devon Foodbank is backing calls from the Trussell Trust to ensure the benefits system is able to protect people from poverty.
The figures from Northern Devon Foodbank are a 17% increase on the same period last year. The charity believes the local increase is due to people struggling with low pay rates, continued issues with benefit payments; insecure work and a reduction in available local government support.
Duncan Withall, Chairman of Northern Devon Foodbank said:
“No one in Northern Devon and Torridge should need a food bank’s help and we want to see an end to local people needing emergency food at all. It doesn’t have to be this way – our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty but if we lived in a society where far fewer people were reliant on inadequate wage rates the benefit issue would be substantially reduced.
“Until we reach a future where food banks are no longer needed, we’ll continue to provide vital support when it matters most. We’re dedicated to ensuring that people in our community without enough money for food are able to access emergency support. Our vital work in the community has only been possible in the last year because of the incredible generosity shown by local people in donating food, time and funds. Thank you.”
The running costs for the Foodbank are raised locally to enable them to continue their work. Costs include warehouse space, to sort and stock donated food, a van to pick up donated food and deliver to distribution centres, and other overheads like utilities and insurances. The Foodbank welcomes any new offers of help with funding – local businesses, organisations and individuals interested in supporting the food bank’s work can find out more at https://northerndevon.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-money/