Worrying stats from Bristol and South Gloucestershire foodbanks

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Worrying stats from Bristol and South Glos foodbanks

 

In April 2020, Trussell Trust Foodbanks in Bristol and South Gloucestershire provided 5,228 emergency food parcels to local people – with 2,306 of these going to children.

These figures exclude the fantastic work done by Bristol’s independent foodbanks – but even without those in the mix, this 5,228-parcel total equates to over 47,000 meals. It’s a 258% increase on the same period last year – and a 300% rise in the number of food parcels given to children.

The Trussell Trust team believe that this rise is a result of people struggling with low income, from benefits or loss of work due to coronavirus, issues with Universal Credit (such as the five-week wait), continued issues with benefit payments, insecure work, and a lack of or reduction in local government support.

Matt Dobson, Foodbank Manager of North Bristol Foodbank, said, We’re dedicated to ensuring that people in Bristol and South Gloucestershire who do not have enough money for food are able to access emergency support. We’ve been making big changes to our work to ensure we can continue to offer people who can’t afford essentials the emergency help that is needed as safely as possible. But ultimately, no one in Bristol and South Gloucestershire should need to use a food bank. 5,228 emergency food parcels to local people is 5,228 emergency food parcels too many. This isn’t right and cannot continue.

“Our vital work in the community has only been possible in the last few months because of the incredible generosity shown by local people in donating food, time and funds. To everyone that has donated – thank you.”

Bristol North West, East Bristol and North Bristol Foodbanks are all members of the Trussell Trust’s network. The Trussell Trust, as part of a coalition of anti-poverty charities, is calling for the UK government to put a Coronavirus Emergency Income Support Scheme in place to ensure people can access the support they need to avoid them being swept into destitution.

Chief executive of the Trussell Trust, Emma Revie, says,“We have been seeing rises in foodbank need across the UK for the past five years, but our latest national figures show that in April food banks in our network reported a soaring 89% increase in need – with the number of families coming to food banks doubling. This is completely unprecedented and not right. People need to be able to put food on their table. The government must put urgent support in place to ensure people already struggling to keep their heads above water can stay afloat. We have outlined what we need our government to do – it’s in our power to protect one another, we’ve seen it during this health crisis, and we need it to continue during this economic one.”

The food bank relies on the support of people across Bristol and South Gloucestershire. It has asked anyone interested in supporting their work to either consider donating food or funds.

For more information on needs specific to foodbanks please email:

North Bristol Foodbank – info@northbristol.foodbank.org.uk

Bristol North West Foodbank – office@bristolnwfoodbank.org.uk

East Bristol Foodbank – ebfoodbank@inhope.uk

 

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