Large rise in Peterborough food bank parcels as Trussell Trust warns figures are ‘tip of the iceberg’
There has been a 25 per cent rise in the number of emergency food bank parcels provided to families in Peterborough through the Trussell Trust.
Between April 2020 and the end of March this year, 12,514 parcels were handed out, compared to 10,000 over the previous 12 months.
The charity said that food banks in its UK network gave more than 2.5 million emergency food parcels to people facing crisis over the past year, including more than 980,000 to children (almost two parcels on average every minute).
It said food banks in its network experienced a 33 per cent increase in need during the past year while warning that the figures are “just the tip of the iceberg” with unprecedented numbers of people being helped by other food aid providers and community-based groups that sprung up during the coronavirus pandemic.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “No one should face the indignity of needing emergency food. Yet our network of food banks has given out record numbers of food parcels as more and more people struggle without enough money for the essentials.
“This is not right but we know we can build a better future. This pandemic has shown the unexpected can hit suddenly, but we know when we push for change, united by our desire for justice and compassion, the Government has to listen and act.
“We are asking you, the public, to write to your local candidates standing for election on May 6 asking them to commit to working to end the need for food banks if elected. Together we can take action now to build a hunger free future.”
In the past 12 months emergency food bank parcels were distributed to 7,631 adults in Peterborough and 4,883 children across six distribution centres.
This compares to 6,498 adults and 3,502 children over the previous 12 month period - a rise of 25.14 per cent.
In Fenland, the rise is from 6,071 to 6,336 (4.3 per cent), while the increases are 34.7 per cent in Huntingdonshire and 34.4 per cent in South Kesteven.
The Trussell Trust said the latest figures nationally highlight a 128 per cent rise compared to this time five years ago.
It is also the first time the number of food parcels distributed has topped two million.
Sabine Goodwin, coordinator of the Independent Food Aid Network, said: “Independent food banks are also continuing to see relentless need for help although combined Trussell Trust and independent food bank figures represent a fraction of the UK’s food insecurity picture.
“Now more than ever, our social security system needs to be reset, local authority support schemes involving crisis grants prioritised and adequate wages and secure work ensured.
“It’s the Government’s responsibility to stop hunger from happening in the first place so that everyone is able to afford to buy food and other essentials.”