Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
More households turn to foodbank
SQUEEZES on household incomes are forcing more working families to turn to foodbanks according to new figures.
Data published by the Citizens Advice Bureau this week has shown a 78 per cent increase in enquiries about foodbanks over the last six months.
A YouGov survey commissioned by the Citizens Advice Bureau also shows that over half of those on low incomes have had to resort to their savings accounts in order to meet living costs. Thirty-seven per cent of respondents on low incomes report they have no savings to turn to in the event of an emergency, meaning they have no safety net when they run out of money.
Andrew Hill, interim manager at Swindon Foodbank, said: “There has definitely been a marked increase in the amount of food coming out of the foodbank. While people used to be using about 10 vouchers every visit, in recent weeks that has gone up to around 30 vouchers. They used to last families two or three weeks to get rid of, but the need has doubled over the last five weeks alone.
“Children coming away from school for the holidays is also having a definite impact. The Cricklade Children’s Centre have already got rid of three boxes of food because of kids not getting their free school meals.
“This puts particular pressure on the stock we have, and people are no longer donating the things we need quite as freely.
“While we will usually have plenty of baked beans, we have only got around 30 tonnes of fruit juice, which will be gone within a week. Many other products will only last three or four weeks at best, and supplies of coffee is non- existant.
“We certainly see people in employment coming to us. There are people on very low incomes signposted to us by social services or the NSPCC. This particularly happens when we have got people working part time with a partner on benefits, with the extra person in the household putting pressure on their finances.”
Gillian Guy, chief executive of the Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “Millions of families are facing a perfect storm of pressure on their budgets. The combined impact of welfare upheaval, cuts to public spending, low wages and the high cost of living are putting unbearable pressure on many households, forcing them to seek emergency help putting food on the table.
“The alarming rise in foodbank enquiries in the past six months shows that despite good news about falling unemployment, millions are still facing hard times.
“Many working people struggle to pay bills and pay for food in the few days before pay day and are forced to seek emergency help.”
David Satchwell, 44, a volunteer with the Swindon Foodbank, said: “I had been in dire straits and they have helped me out with food and support. I am volunteering now to help other people in the same position. Hopefully in the future it will lead to a job.
“I was homeless for a time and was introduced to the foodbank. It was the first time I had been in this situation and I had nowhere else to turn.
“There are a lot of people on low incomes who would not survive otherwise. The alternative would be begging.”
Comments are closed on this article.