Basildon Foodbank is calling for candidates on all sides to pledge to protect people from hunger, as it reveals 977 emergency food parcels were given to people in Basildon between 1st April and 30th September this year. Of this number, 437 went to children.
The figures are a 23% increase on the same period last year.
Basildon Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust’s network, which today announced that the need for emergency food parcels in the UK is at an all-time high.
The new figures come just a week after the Trussell Trust released State of Hunger, the most in-depth study ever published into hunger and the drivers of food bank use in the UK. The findings revealed the average weekly income of people at food banks is only £50 after paying housing costs, and almost one in five have no money coming in at all in the month before being referred for emergency food.
As the election approaches, Basildon Foodbank is backing the Trussell Trust’s call for candidates on all sides to work towards a future where no one needs a food bank and pledge to protect people from hunger by ensuring everyone has enough money for the basics. The Trussell Trust is asking our next government to end the five week wait for Universal Credit; ensure benefit payments cover the cost of living; and invest in local emergency support for people in crisis.
Increase in need for the food bank is due to people struggling with waiting weeks for a first Universal Credit payment, not able to access support or receiving payments that don’t cover the cost of essentials, continued issues with benefit payments; insecure work; closure of local charities offering crisis support; lack/reduction in available local government support].
Pastor Victor Oladele, the Basildon Foodbank Manager, whose Church The Redeemed Christian Church of God Majesty Connections operates the Basildon Foodbank said:
“It’s a real concern that in just six months we’ve provided 977 emergency supplies to local people. These figures don’t take into account our busiest time of year – as the colder weather draws in, we often find even more people needing our help.
“We believe that everyone should have enough money coming in to cover the basics. But right now, more and more people in [area] are being forced to our food bank’s doors. This isn’t right.
“While our help is needed, 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 because of the incredible generosity shown by local people who have donated food, time and funds. Thank you.”
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said:
“We’re seeing more and more people being pushed to food banks than ever before. People across the country, driven by compassion and a strong sense of justice, have been doing what they can to help, but we all want to see things change. It’s time for candidates on all sides to ensure these values are lived out in policies that anchor people from poverty.
“This General Election, all political parties must pledge to protect people from hunger by ensuring everyone has enough money for the basics. We want our next government to start working towards a future where no one needs a food bank by ending the five week wait for Universal Credit; ensuring benefit payments cover the cost of living; and investing in local emergency support for people in crisis.
“Together, these three changes will put money back into the pockets of people who most need our support. It’s not right that anyone has to walk through the doors of a food bank in the UK. But it’s in our power as a country to end the need for food banks – this can change.”
Basildon Food bank is particularly in need of tinned fish and meat food items. The charity has asked for festive donations to be donated in early December at the latest, to ensure volunteers have enough time to process and distribute these donations to people before Christmas.
Basildon Foodbank Manager can be reached on [email protected]
Notes to Editor
- Basildon Foodbank has been providing three days emergency food and support to local people since August 2013.
- 977 emergency food parcels were provided by Basildon Foodbank between April – Sept 2019
- For more info, visit https://basildon.foodbank.org.uk/
- Basildon Foodbank is part of The Trussell Trust network. For UK-wide Trussell Trust food bank statistics visit https://www.trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/