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Annual Report shows over 27,000 people received Foodbank help

14th May 2024

27,000 people receive emergency food parcels from The Lambeth Partnership of Foodbanks in the last 12 months, as people struggle to get by on low incomes

 

  • 40 % Increase in the number of pensioners leads to a 9.5% rise in parcel numbers compared to 2022/23
  • New annual figures from the Trussell Trust show that more than 3.1 million food parcels were given out across the UK

 

New figures released today by The Lambeth Partnership of Foodbanks have revealed that 27,109 emergency food parcels were provided to people facing hardship across the Lambeth and Croydon area in the last year with 9632 of these going to children.

The Lambeth Partnership of Foodbanks has seen a 9.5% increase in the number of emergency food parcels distributed compared to last year, as more and more people struggle to afford essentials such as food.

Elizabeth Mayton MBE Project Lead at The Norwood and Brixton Foodbank, part of the Lambeth Partnership of Foodbanks said:

We’re upset but not surprised to see yet another increase in the number of people using our Foodbank.  50% of people that received parcels were single, highlighting the increasing number of people living on their own that just can’t cope. Another worrying trend was the 40% increase of those using our Foodbank over the age of 65. We’re really concerned for the elderly population in our boroughs who are vulnerable and clearly struggling. Over 27,000 people needed our help over the last year and we are unsure if we can keep up with this growing  demand. We are pleased to have been able to offer a lifeline to so many people and are hugely thankful for donations from the local community. We ask for their continued support in this difficult climate.

Emily is on a zero-hour contract which means work isn’t always regular. As a former sales manager she’s not comfortable using the Foodbank. “I have used the Foodbank once or twice recently and it’s been a massive help. Not only for food to feed my daughter but also for the additional support and advice. I am now getting help with my debt and have been to a job club and feel I am in a lot better place. I am still struggling though as everything costs too much”.

Alongside the provision of emergency food, The Lambeth Partnership of Foodbanks offers people who are referred to them a warm welcome, as well as connections to advice and support that makes it less likely someone will need the food bank again in the future. Partnering with the Brixton Advice Centre, Centre 70, Age UK and Christians Against Poverty, amongst other organisations, means that immediate support is available to anyone that needs it in one of the seven hubs situated across Lambeth and Croydon.

The support of the South London community is vital in ensuring that The Lambeth Partnership of Foodbanks can be there for anyone who turns to them for help, but the rising levels of need have had a significant impact on stock levels.

A typical emergency food parcel consists of items such as cereal, tinned fruit and vegetables, canned meat and fish, tea, biscuits, UHT milk, and pasta and rice and much more, but The Lambeth Partnership of Foodbanks is having to purchase more and more stock as donations are no longer meeting local need. Any donation is gratefully received and can be dropped off at the food bank and supermarket collection points.

 The Lambeth Partnership of Foodbanks is part of the Trussell Trust’s network, which reports record levels of need in the last 12 months with more than 3.1 million emergency food parcels provided to people facing hardship between April 2023 and March 2024. More than 1.1 million of these parcels were provided for children.

The Trussell Trust is calling for urgent reform of the social security system as it is currently failing in its most basic duty – to protect people from going without essentials we all need in life. Alongside many other organisations, the anti-poverty charity is urging the UK Government to introduce an ‘Essentials Guarantee’ into Universal Credit to ensure everyone has a protected minimum amount of support to afford the essentials.

Speaking about the rising need for emergency food, Emma Revie, Chief Executive at the Trussell Trust, said:  “It’s 2024 and we’re facing historically high levels of food bank need. As a society, we cannot allow this to continue. We must not let food banks become the new norm. As we approach the next UK General Election, we urgently need all political leaders to set out how they will build a future where no one needs a food bank to survive. Voters want to see a change and we need cross-government action at all levels to deliver it. We know what’s pushing people to food banks, so we know what needs to change.

“A supportive social security system is the bedrock on which we end hunger for good, and we also need to ensure everyone can get the right support at the right time. People should be supported in a way that reflects the reality of their lives, especially if they’re facing the higher costs and barriers that impact certain groups such as parents, carers, disabled people. Everyone should have the security we all need to access opportunities and have hope for the future.

“Food banks are not the answer. They will be there to support people as long as they are needed, but by taking bold action our political leaders can build a future where everyone has enough money to afford the life’s essentials. The time to act is now.”

The Trussell Trust has set out the crucial actions the next UK Government must take to support people and ensure everyone has enough money to afford life’s essentials: trusselltrust.org/manifesto *

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