626 food bank parcels provided for children in Hart during first six months of the pandemic
New figures released by Hart Foodbank reveal 1551 emergency food parcels were provided to people between April and September of this year – a shocking 150% increase on the same period in 2019. 551 of these went to children.
The food bank believes the increase in local people needing its support is due to increased redundancies; people’s finances being hit by the impact of coronavirus; people waiting weeks for a first Universal Credit payment and continued issues with benefit payments;
Christine Siddall, Foodbank Manager of Hart Foodbank said:
“It’s a real concern that in the first six months of the pandemic we’ve provided 1551 emergency supplies to local people. And these figures doesn’t cover winter, which is usually our busiest time of year. We’re always blown away by the amount of support and generosity local people show in supporting our work – and during this difficult year, our vital work has only been possible because of that incredible support. Thank you so much. While our help continues to be needed, we’re dedicated to ensuring that people without enough money for food are able to access emergency support.
But ultimately, we don’t think it’s right that any of us are forced to turn to any charity for emergency food. All of us should have enough money for essentials. That’s why we’re working with the Trussell Trust to push for changes that will begin a Hunger Free Future. This can change.”
Hart Food bank is particularly in need of instant mash, tinned potatoes, sponge puddings, toilet rolls, washing up liquid, washing powder/gel. The charity has asked for festive donations to be donated by mid December at the latest, to ensure volunteers have enough time to process and distribute these donations to people before Christmas.
The food bank is part of the Trussell Trust’s network, which has recently reported more than 1.2 million emergency food parcels were given to people struggling to afford essentials between 1st April and 30th September 2020, making it the busiest ever half-year period for food banks; over 470,000 of these parcels went to children.
The Trussell Trust is asking anyone who wants to ‘end the injustice of people needing food banks’ to join the campaign for a Hunger Free Future at trusselltrust.org/hungerfreefuture.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, explains:
“Throughout 2020, communities across the country have stepped in to provide vital support to people left without enough money. Volunteers in food banks have been working hard under extremely difficult circumstances to make sure support is there for people struggling to afford essentials. But it’s not right that any of us are forced to a charity for food, at any time of year.
“This pandemic has shown the unexpected can hit us suddenly, with devastating consequences for people’s lives. But it’s also shown we can make huge changes to the way we live and look after each other. It’s shown that when we come together to push for change, the government responds. Together, we can build a hunger free future.”