Rise of 35% in use of Wirral foodbanks

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Donated food. Pic © Wikimedia Commons

A shocking rise in the amount of people in Wirral using the foodbank service has been registered, with 15,280 locals using the facility last year.

After charting 11,296 in 2017, the latest figure shows a 35% increase for those who are seeking help, according to the Trussell Trust

The charity said that if the minimum five-week wait for a first Universal Credit payment is not reduced, the only way to prevent more people being forced to rely on foodbanks is to pause all new claims for the benefit.

Supported by the Trussell Trust, The Wirral foodbank has been a part of the Peninsular for eight years.

Volunteers believe that no-one in the community should have to face going hungry and they help provide for people in need by giving three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced emergency food as part of a nationwide network of foodbanks.

Twitter: Foodbank Wirral

Foodbank manager, Richard Roberts, said: “We have recently released, by ward, the number of people supported by Wirral foodbank in 2018. It continues to be of concern that last year 15,280 people received emergency food, a 35% increase on 2017.

“There are a variety of reasons for this increase, including changes and delays in benefit payments, low income and debt.”

“Since it started in November 2011, Wirral Foodbank has managed to support 47,234. This included 16,887 children.

Frank Field, the MP for Birkenhead, told JMU Journalism: “The cross-party inquiry I set up in 2014, found that the vast majority of foodbank referrals resulted from a problem relating to people having delays or a change in benefits claims.

“We have the most wonderful foodbank in Wirral and the public are determined that their neighbour will not go hungry. But the demand for services keeps growing and it is increasingly difficult to meet this demand.”

YouTube: Riverside Housing

About Lucy Jones, JMU Journalism