Problems with Universal Credit are driving an increase in the number of emergency supplies handed out at food banks, new figures reveal today.
The Trussell Trust said its network provided 658,048 supplies between April and September, a 13 per cent increase on the same period a year ago.
However, Julie Coates who runs the Hailsham Foodbank has revealed the service locally has experienced a 36% increase in demand for its services in the first half of this year – three times greater than the national average.
Foodbanks typically receive more referrals for emergency support during the second half of the financial year, raising concerns that foodbank use this winter will rise further, as hardship experienced annually during the colder months is compounded by more people left waiting at least five weeks for benefit payments.
During an interview on 95.9 Hailsham FM today, Hailsham Foodbank also announced a substantial sponsorship with PJ Skips, which see’s the locally based firm donate towards the running of the Foodbank. (Listen to the radio interview here).
Nick Ellwood, Managing Director of PJ Skips said; “PJ Skips has always had a close involvement with our community. We support local Bonfire Associations, the Eastbourne Christmas Tree of Light, sports clubs and many other events in the region. However, for some time now we’ve been thinking about how we can partner with a local organisation to make a real and meaningful difference to the people who need it most. We are shocked to see the growing numbers of people in need using foodbanks in the region and across the UK. No one should be going hungry. Through our sponsorship of Hailsham Foodbank, we hope that we’ll be helping put food on the table for local families and neighbours who are struggling to get by.”
Hailsham Foodbank Project Manager, Julie Coates, said; “We are delighted to be partnering with PJ Skips. Their generous sponsorship will help us provide much needed food and support to struggling families in the area. Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more people walking through our door. Last year we fed nearly 1,500 people and the numbers are increasing at an alarming rate.”