New figures show 7965 emergency food supplies given to local people by Norwood and Brixton Foodbank in last year
- 7965 three day emergency food supplies given to local people in crisis by the Norwood and Brixton Foodbank in 2016-17 – over 3000 went to children
- Latest statistics published by The Trussell Trust Foodbank network show UK-wide foodbank figures are still not decreasing
- Local increase due to people struggling with issues with benefit payments; low wages; and no recourse to public funds.
Over 7965 three day emergency food supplies were provided to local people in crisis by Norwood and Brixton Foodbank during 2016-17, compared to 6548 in 2015-16. Of this number, 3252 went to children. The top three reasons for foodbank referral were: benefit delay 25 %; low income 19.2%; no recourse to public funds 13%.
Over the last year, local people have donated 61 tonnes of food to the Norwood and Brixton Foodbank, and over 200 have 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.
One prominent group of people who need to use Foodbank are those with no recourse to public funds.
Hannah, foodbank client said:
“Foodbank has been a life-saver. I have been in this country for eight years and have had some good jobs in that time. At the moment, I am unemployed. I don’t have access to public funds, so supporting my family is really difficult right now. If foodbank hadn’t been here, I think we would have starved. I am so grateful.”
As well as providing emergency food, the Norwood and Brxiton Foodbank provides essentials like washing powder, nappies and sanitary products to families who are struggling, as well as signposting them to other services in the local area. Many Trussell Trust Foodbanks, including the Norwood and Brixton Foodbank, are partnering with other agencies to provide additional services such as welfare and debt advice, and provide their own budgeting and cooking courses, helping people to break out of crisis.
Elizabeth Maytom, Project Lead of Norwood and Brixton Foodbank said:
“It is deeply concerning that we are still seeing an increase in the number of three day emergency food supplies provided to local people in crisis in our catchment area over the last year.
“Anybody could find themselves in need of the foodbank. Every week people are referred to us after being hit by something unavoidable – such as illness, a delay in a benefit payment or an unexpected bill – meaning food is simply unaffordable. It really is only with the community’s support that we’re able to provide vital emergency help when it matters most, and we hope that one day there will be no need for us in Lambeth or Croydon, But until that day comes, we will continue to offer the best possible service to help local people facing a crisis. Thank you so much to everyone in who already donates time, food and money to help local people. If you’re not already involved, we’d love to hear from you!”
Despite generous donations of food, there are many hidden costs involved in running the foodbank. Costs include advice workers, salaries, insurance, printers, shelving and trolleys.
It is not yet certain if the Norwood and Brixton Foodbank can continue to fund their advice worker service after September. At present, they do not have the funds required to continue this service, meaning clients would not receive bespoke advice concerning benefits, debt and housing. This advice is often pivotal in leading clients to freedom from poverty.
The foodbank welcomes any new offers of help with funding – local businesses, organisations and individuals interested in supporting the foodbank’s work can find out more here.