Norwich Foodbank gives out 10,000 parcels in a year
Norwich Foodbank has given almost 10,000 emergency food parcels to local people in the last year, part of a record 1.6m parcels given out across the county in the same period.
Latest figures reveal that Norwich Foodbank provided 9,926 three day emergency food parcels to local people between April 2018 - March 2019. Of this number, 3,394 went to children.
That's the equivalent of over 180,000 meals distributed through food parcels and extras and supporting community meals such as FISH over the last 12 months.
The local Foodbank’s figures feed into a larger national picture with a record increase in Foodbank use across the UK reported this week by the Trussell Trust.
Norwich Foodbank is backing calls from the Trussell Trust to ensure the benefits system is able to protect people from poverty.
The figures from Norwich Foodbank show a 2% increase on the same period last year. The charity believes the local increase is due to people struggling with continued issues with benefit payments including the initial wait for the first Universal Credit payment.
Norwich Foodbank shares the concerns of other Foodbanks in the Trussell Trust’s network about Universal Credit – it is not the only benefit payment people referred to the Foodbank have experienced problems with, but the issues faced by local people moving onto the new system are significant. The Foodbank has needed to give emergency food and support to people who are waiting at least five-weeks for a first Universal Credit payment and who receiving payments that don’t cover the cost of essentials.
Hannah Worsley, manager of Norwich Foodbank said: “No one in Norwich should need a Foodbank’s help and we want to see an end to local people needing emergency food at all. It doesn’t have to be this way - our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty. Universal Credit should be part of the solution but currently the five week wait is leaving many without enough money to cover the basics. This isn’t right.
“Until we reach a future where Foodbanks 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 Foodbank are raised locally to enable them to continue their work. Costs include warehouse space to sort and stock donated food, volunteer mileage expenses to pick up donated food and deliver to distribution centres, and other overheads like utilities and insurances.
The Foodbank welcomes any new offers of help with funding – local businesses, organisations and individuals interested in supporting the charity’s work can find out more at www.norwichfoodbank.co.uk