Romsey Foodbank provided 471 three day emergency food parcels to local people between April 2018 to March 2019.
The local food bank’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.
Romsey Foodbank is backing calls from the Trussell Trust to ensure the benefits system is able to protect people from poverty.
The figures from Romsey Foodbank are a 11% increase on the same period last year. The charity believes the local increase is due to people continuing to struggle with benefit payments; issues with Universal Credit such as the five-week wait.
Romsey Foodbank shares the concerns of other food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network about Universal Credit – it is not the only benefit payment people referred to the food bank have experienced problems with, but the issues faced by local people moving onto the new system are significant. The food bank has needed to give emergency food and support to people who are waiting at least five-weeks for a first Universal Credit payment and not able to access support or receiving payments that don’t cover the cost of essentials.
Jo Topley food bank manager of Romsey Foodbank said:
“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 food bank are raised locally to enable them to continue their work. Costs include overheads like utilities and insurances, storage facilities and publicity. The food bank 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 on the food bank’s “Give Help” page.