Cost of Living: Peterborough Food Bank sees surge in demand as crisis creates ‘tsunami of need’

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Helpers fear demand will continue to rise during winter

Peterborough Food Bank is facing a surge in demand for its help as the cost of living crisis leaves more people facing a winter of hunger.

Now organisers of the Food Bank, in Dodson Way, are hoping the Autumn Budget will serve up the measures necessary to help people make ends meet during the winter.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And as demand starts to outstrip donations at many food banks, organisers say there is a ‘tsunami of need’ building up.

The number of emergency food parcels distributed in Peterborough has soared this year.The number of emergency food parcels distributed in Peterborough has soared this year.
The number of emergency food parcels distributed in Peterborough has soared this year.

New figures from poverty campaign group, the Trussell Trust, show that demand for emergency food from the Food Bank has soared since April.

According to the trust, a total of 6,100 emergency food parcels were distributed to people in Peterborough from the city’s four food bank locations between April 1 and September 30 this year.

That was made up of 3,893 parcels for adults and 2,207 for children.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It was a steep rise on the same months in 2021 when the total number of food parcels handed out was 4,408.

This graph shows the number of emergency food parcels distributed in Peterborough for the months April 1 to September 30 each year from 2017 to 2022This graph shows the number of emergency food parcels distributed in Peterborough for the months April 1 to September 30 each year from 2017 to 2022
This graph shows the number of emergency food parcels distributed in Peterborough for the months April 1 to September 30 each year from 2017 to 2022

Some 6,581 emergency food parcels were given out in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

Three years earlier, the number of food parcels given out had been 2,946 - 1,942 to adults and 1,004 to children,

Juliet Welch, Community Action Projects Manager - Foodbank & Care Zone, said: “We are seeing an increase, particularly as we head into winter, of about 60 per cent and we are seeing slightly less donations.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The main issue is that although people are still giving, the increase in demand is outstripping the level of donations, and we are concerned that as the cost of living bites even our donors will not be able to donate as they used to.

“We definitely expect the situation to get worse over winter, and are concerned about the financial landscape for next year.

She added: “We are seeing new people need the service of the foodbank, as even those in work are struggling with the increase in cost of living.

“In the Autumn Budget we would like to see more support for low income families, and to make sure the Household Support Fund is a long term commitment and help meet the needs of those in financial hardship.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Nationally, the Trussell Trust says 1.3 million emergency food parcels were provided between April and September this year with about 500,000 going to children – up a third on the same period in 2021 and more than 50 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels.

A Trust spokesperson said the cost of living emergency had created a ‘tsunami of need’ as people struggled to survive amidst the soaring costs of living.

A Government spokesperson said: “We are directly supporting households in need including sending another Cost of Living Payment this month worth £324 to over eight million people, part of a £1,200 package for those on the lowest incomes.

“Our extensive immediate support for families also includes our Energy Price Guarantee, saving around £700 for a typical household over winter, and our Household Support Fund, worth over £1 billion to help people with essential costs, combined with longer-term changes such as altering Universal Credit to help people keep £1,000 more of what they earn every year.”

Find out more about the Peterborough Food Bank, and what items they need.