Food banks

Food banks warn of impending shortages

The Trussell Trust - which coordinates a UK-wide network of food banks - is urging the public to donate food to combat expected "significant pressures" over the school holidays.

New figures, they say, show the number of food parcels to households with children last year rose by 20% (87,496 food parcels) and they expect a similar rise this year.

Keynsham Food Bank, near Bristol, and another in Saltford, North Somerset, are already experiencing pressure to maintain their stock.

They issue, and distribute to other food banks, school holiday bags for children who receive free school meals or are subject to Pupil Premium.

Over a third of all emergency food parcels distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network go to children.

The school summer holidays are always a busy time for users: we try to lighten the financial load for those families whose budget is very limited and with the free school meals not being available they are having to find additional food throughout the holiday. If we are to end hunger in the UK, we need to make sure everyone is anchored from being swept into poverty."

Alan Hale .Keynsham Food Bank Coordinator

Food bank charity highlights 'holiday hunger'

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

A new report says food banks in the North East face their busiest ever summer this year, as so-called "holiday hunger" for disadvantaged children kicks in.

The Trussell Trust says that during the six-week school summer holiday period last year, nearly 3,000 food parcels were distributed by food banks in the region - an increase of 29% on the previous year.

The trust says there are additional financial pressure on some poorer families during the holiday period because they rely on free school meals in term time.

Food bank
BBC

Surrey borough among worst for food poverty

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

A task group looking into food poverty has highlighted the “extreme” measures parents go through to feed their children.

Guildford has four of the most deprived neighbourhoods in England.

In three of those, over a quarter of the children are considered to be living in poverty.

The “eye-opening” report collected evidence showing that children are suffering from hunger during the school holidays, mums are skipping meals to feed their little ones, and some parents are choosing to pay for food instead of heating their homes.

Almost 2,000 food parcels were distributed to households in 2017-18 by local food banks.

The council was criticized for not spending all of the Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) it is entitled to from the government, to help tenants in social or private housing.

Labour councillor Angela Gunning said: “The existence of hidden poverty in an affluent borough was an eye-opener.”

She added that people feel great shame in using food banks, and often travel to other boroughs to seek help, to avoid being seen by people they knew.

The report was hailed as “opening the door” to Guildford Borough Council starting work on a local solution.

'No-one wants to be next door to a food bank'

BBC Hereford and Worcester

The manager of a food bank has admitted the team behind it found it "enormously difficult" to find a new location and partly blamed it on "snobbery".

The new warehouse
Hereford Food Bank

They had to move in Hereford because the lease ran out on the old building on Aubrey Street, but the new warehouse (pictured) has twice the floor space.

Volunteers spent the weekend moving boxes of food to the new site on Monkmoor Street before opening today.

Enormously difficult, it's finding one space, in Hereford, at ground floor level and easily accessible and also, we're a food bank, so not necessarily any good to be in the centre of town, because of access, and also a bit of snobbery unfortunately, no-one wants to be next door to a food bank."

Jacquie AlsopFood bank manager

Poverty is systematic and tragic, says UN investigator

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

A United Nations-backed report says public spending cuts over the last eight years have led to high levels of poverty in many parts of Britain - including the North East.

That is the conclusion of Prof Philip Alston, an investigator on extreme poverty who toured the UK last November.

Philip Alston in Newcastle
BBC

He visited the Newcastle West End foodbank, which is the biggest in the country.

Prof Alston has warned that unless policies change, people on low incomes seem destined to lead lives that are "solitary and short".

Ministers say the report is a "barely believable" documentation of Britain, based on a tiny period of time spent here.

Foodbank struggles to keep up with demand

A foodbank in West Yorkshire says its success in feeding local families in need could actually lead to its closure.

People in the foodbank
BBC

Batley Foodbank currently feeds up to 40 people a day but donations of supplies are not keeping up with demand.

The team of volunteers say the closure of the foodbank would be "devastating" for Batley.