More emergency foodbanks to open as claimant numbers continue to rise

MORE than 750 people turned to emergency foodbanks in the region in the run-up to Christmas, as rising living costs continue to bite.

Now four more help-points are opening in the North-East and North Yorkshire - taking the total to ten - to ensure the poorest families can put a meal on the table.

Roberta Blackman-Woods, the Durham City MP, where the largest number of people was fed, said the expansion of foodbanks was clear evidence that "something is going wrong in the economy".

And she added: "The foodbank in Durham is wonderful project and has fantastic volunteers.

"But I don't want to live in a society where this is necessary, where finances are so tight that more people have to turn to foodbanks to feed themselves and their families."

However, David Cameron has pointed to foodbanks as "part of what I call the Big Society" - and ministers have suggested the rise is explained by the issuing of foodbank vouchers to claimants facing benefit delays.

The Trussell Trust, the organisation behind Britain's biggest foodbank network, said it fed 747 across the North-East and North Yorkshire between December 10 and 25.

That included 361 at the bank in Salisbury Road, Durham City, with smaller numbers helped at Hartlepool (112), York (109), Middlesbrough (65), Gateshead (57) and Newcastle East (43).

The Trussell Trust is now opening a further four banks in the region, in Redcar, Sunderland, Harrogate and a second in Newcastle, in the west end.

Across Britain, the number has more than doubled in a single year - from 145 at the end of 2011, to around 300 - providing three days of non-perishable food, donated by the public.

To be eligible for a parcel, a person or family has to be considered in need by a charity or agency and given a voucher, which they present to the food bank.

The Trust is in no doubt that demand is soaring because of the rising costs of food and fuel, plus stubbornly-high unemployment and salaries that are falling in real terms.

More than 40 per cent of people helped have been referred to food banks because their benefits have been stopped - under tougher rules - or a crisis loan has been refused.

Less than five per cent are homeless. Many are working families, hit by sudden redundancy, a cut in working hours or an unexpected bill.

Adrian Curtis, the Trussell Trust's foodbank network manager, said: "People from all sorts of walks of life have been finding themselves in short-term crisis.

"Although, on one level, I get excited to see the network growing - because I see more and more communities prepared to help - I also understand why the volume of people we are now supporting is shocking to people."

Comments (5)

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5:31pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Voice-of-reality says...

Fewer takeaways, fewer fags, less booze and wear a jumper. Oh, and if you can;t afford them, stop breeding.
Fewer takeaways, fewer fags, less booze and wear a jumper. Oh, and if you can;t afford them, stop breeding. Voice-of-reality

6:20pm Mon 14 Jan 13

hardatwork says...

See above for a perfect example of a sweeping generalisation, well done. And unpredictable too.
See above for a perfect example of a sweeping generalisation, well done. And unpredictable too. hardatwork

6:22pm Mon 14 Jan 13

hardatwork says...

. . .and keep an eye on those punctuations, it's just basic English.
. . .and keep an eye on those punctuations, it's just basic English. hardatwork

9:17pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Voice-of-reality says...

I accept my mistake in relation to typing and yes it is a generalisation; but not an entirely unjust one. I trust it is the same deficency in your use of 'those' rather than 'the'. I would also suggest that contractions should not be used in formal writing.
I accept my mistake in relation to typing and yes it is a generalisation; but not an entirely unjust one. I trust it is the same deficency in your use of 'those' rather than 'the'. I would also suggest that contractions should not be used in formal writing. Voice-of-reality

12:43pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Baldy Eagle says...

It is sad that people have the views expressed by "Voice-of-reality" he or she has not read the article or has not understood what all the words mean. It is reality that working people are included in this, not just unemployed. Many low paid workers and those who have fell victim to the Governments austerity measures are hit by this.
In the past week people employed by Jessops, and HMV have been unilaterally forced into the growing numbers of those who need to "wear a jumper.
But its not all bad is it? The top dog at Durham Uni has just got himself a £21,000 pay rise he now gets paid over quarter of a million pounds a year while 361 people in Durham need a foodbank. Bet he doesnt need a jumper.
It is sad that people have the views expressed by "Voice-of-reality" he or she has not read the article or has not understood what all the words mean. It is reality that working people are included in this, not just unemployed. Many low paid workers and those who have fell victim to the Governments austerity measures are hit by this. In the past week people employed by Jessops, and HMV have been unilaterally forced into the growing numbers of those who need to "wear a jumper. But its not all bad is it? The top dog at Durham Uni has just got himself a £21,000 pay rise he now gets paid over quarter of a million pounds a year while 361 people in Durham need a foodbank. Bet he doesnt need a jumper. Baldy Eagle

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