KNOWSLEY FOODBANK FIGURES CONTINUE TO RISE AS HUNGER REMAINS MAJOR CONCERN FOR LOW INCOME FAMILIES
- Between April and September 2015, Knowsley Foodbank gave 3297 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis compared to 3085 in the same period last year.
- Nationally, between April and September 2015, Trussell Trust foodbanks gave over 506,000 three days food supplies to people in crisis, compared to 493,000 during the same period in 2014.
- Whilst the Foodbank is very grateful for the generous support of the people of Knowsley, more needs to be done to reduce numbers of people needing the Foodbank in the borough.
Between April and September 2015 Knowsley Foodbank provided 3297 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis. Of this, 1594 of the three day supplies went to children. The latest figures published by The Trussell Trust nationally show foodbanks in the Trussell Trust network provided 506,369 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis between April and September 2015, compared to 492,641 people in the same period last year. On average, people needed 1.7 foodbank referrals in this six month period, meaning that 297,864 people nationally are likely to have been unique users *.
At Knowsley Foodbank we have seen an increase of 7% in the number of people receiving 3 days worth of emergency food. Sadly there has been a rise of 17% in the number of children being given 3 days worth of food. We work closely with the Borough of Knowsley’s Emergency support Scheme and through this we have fed 816 people with 3 days emergency food in addition to the 3297 people seen in our foodbank distribution centres during the same period. The need for emergency food shows no sign of decreasing and we rely heavily on our partnership with Knowsley and the generosity of our supporters and volunteers to ensure we can meet the needs of those in crisis. (Sue Torpey Knowsley Foodbank Manager)
Trussell Trust UK foodbank director Adrian Curtis says:
‘Latest foodbank figures are still at worryingly high levels. We look forward to the day that we can announce a decrease in numbers needing foodbanks, and we welcome the fact that latest national figures show a less dramatic rise. Whilst we hope that this is a sign that economic recovery is giving more people access to secure work, several foodbanks are reporting that some agencies and charities who would normally refer people in crisis to foodbanks have been unable to do so because funding reductions have caused their services to be squeezed or closed. We’re seeing that hunger remains a major issue for low income families and individuals. When the proposed changes to tax credits are implemented, we are concerned that more working families will not be able to make ends meet, and that we could see a substantial rise in foodbank use as a result. We need to learn more from the realities of life for people struggling on low incomes and make sure that no incomes are too low to live on.’
One of Knowsley Foodbank clients told us: ‘I was very nervous about coming to the foodbank but I had no choice. I was so relieved to be treated so well and the food, fruit, veg, bread and eggs made a big difference to me and my family. I’m now working with some people that I met at the foodbank getting help looking for a job’ (Kirkby resident)
In the last six months local people in Knowsley and it’s surrounding areas donated 22.2 tonnes of food to Knowsley Foodbank, and over 100 people volunteered. Local schools, businesses and faith groups have provided vital support to the Foodbank, enabling us to give three days’ nutritionally balanced food and support to people in crisis.
Winter is likely to see a rise in numbers of people needing foodbanks, as people on low incomes face choices between eating and heating. In December 2014, referrals to Trussell Trust foodbanks nationally were 53 percent higher than the average across other months, with over 130,000 three day food supplies being given to people in crisis in December alone.
As well as providing emergency food, fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh bread and eggs, Knowsley Foodbank also provides essentials like washing powder, nappies and hygiene products to families who are struggling. As part of the Big Help Project clients who attend Knowsley Foodbank are also offered debt advice, help with preparing for and finding work and also help with financial and digital inclusion. Vulnerable new mothers are also offered help through our Baby Basics project.
(Insert name) Foodbank is currently asking in particular for donations of:
- UHT Milk
- UHT juice or squash
Notes to Editor:
About Knowsley foodbank
- Knowsley Foodbank is part of the Big Help project which incorporates Jubilee Debt Advice, Next Steps back to work, GetConnected digital and financial inclusion, Baby Basics and the Big Help Community Shop, Derby Road, Huyton Village, Knowsley.
How Trussell Trust foodbanks work:
- Knowsley Foodbank is part of The Trussell Trust foodbank network
- Trussell Trust foodbanks provide three days’ nutritionally balanced food and support to people in crisis in the UK. We also signpost people to other agencies and services able to help resolve the underlying cause of the crisis. As part of the charity’s More Than Food approach, many foodbanks also host additional services like debt/financial advice, holiday lunch and breakfast clubs. Read more on new pilot debt advice service.
- Everyone who comes to a Trussell Trust foodbank is referred by a professional such as a social worker, health visitor or schools liaison officer. Over 30,000 professionals referred people to Trussell Trust foodbanks in 2014-15, and 50 percent are statutory agencies.
- Over 90 percent of food given out by Trussell Trust foodbanks is donated by the public.
- The Trussell Trust is a Christian charity that runs the biggest network of foodbanks in the UK. For more on The Trussell Trust visit www.trusselltrust.org
- You can read more about the way Trussell Trust statistics are gathered athttp://www.trusselltrust.org/stats
Trussell Trust statistics:
Trussell Trust statistics are collected using an online data collection system into which foodbanks enter the data from each foodbank voucher. The system records the number of adults and children given three days’ emergency food. Trussell Trust figures have always been reported in this way. We cannot measure unique users on a national scale, but recent detailed evidence collected from a range of foodbanks indicates that on average, people needed 1.7 foodbank vouchers in this six month period.
- Trussell Trust data collection seeks to comply with ONS guidance. The Trussell Trust receives technical advice from a former senior government statistician.
- The Trussell trust publishes figures on use of their foodbanks annually and half yearly, as part of a regular publication scheme.
- ‘Benefit delays’ refer to people not receiving benefits to which they are entitled on time, this category can also include problems with processing new claims, or any other time lags in people receiving their welfare payments.
- ‘Benefit changes’ refers to the problems resulting from a change in people’s welfare payments, for example, people having their benefits stopped whilst they are reassessed. This can also include a sanction.
- ‘Low income’ refers to anyone who is struggling to get by on a low income. This could be people in work, or people on benefits, for whom a small crisis e.g. boiler breaking down or having to buy school uniform etc, can be enough to mean that they cannot afford food.