Cost of living crisis: Peterborough Foodbank feeding almost 100 more people per month than last year
and live on Freeview channel 276
Peterborough Foodbank has fed almost 100 more people on average per month so far this year than it did in 2021 – but the amount of donations the foodbank has received has been almost halved.
The increasing demand for food bank services comes as the cost of living continues to rise in the UK – with food prices hiking as inflation, the rate at which prices rise, passed 10 per cent in August.
The Trussell Trust charity’s Peterborough Foodbank is currently feeding 955 people on average per month – 95 more than it fed on average per month last year.
The food bank has fed 7,643 people since January 1 this year.
It has also fulfilled 3,555 vouchers this year – an average of 69 more vouchers fulfilled per month than in 2021.
However, donations to the food bank have reduced by almost half per month.
The food bank has received approximately 29 tonnes of donated food so far in 2022 – three tonnes less each month than the just over six tonnes donated the previous year.
"We’re coming to a crisis point in the autumn where people won’t be donating anywhere near as much but we will need to give out more food,” Sue Welch, one of eight volunteers at the The Trussell Trust’s Salvation Army food bank, in Bourges Boulevard, said.
"People can’t afford to donate as they’re struggling to buy their own food.
"In the summer, because other costs are not usually as high, the demand usually goes down – but it’s been gradually growing in numbers here since the spring.”
Sue said that the demographic of people using food banks has changed, with more people and families in work now requiring the services of food banks.
“We’ve had paramedics, who are single mums with kids,” she said. “We’ve seen a lot of first-time users as well.”
The government made cost-of-living payments, worth £326, to more than eight million low-income households between July 14 and 31 this year.
It has now announced a second payment of £324, which will be issued this autumn to support people with the rise in energy bills, which are set to be three times more than they were last year, and the soaring rate of inflation.
“People will take advantage of it,” Sue said. “We’ve had people say that they would like to use the money to pay a chunk of their bills, but have had to use it to buy school uniforms.”
Titan Blade, 40, has been using food banks in Peterborough for the last two years.
"I’m relying on foodbanks,” he said, speaking at The Salvation Army food bank, in Bourges Boulevard, on August 24.
“I’m getting £200 a month which has to pay for everything. I’m making three day’s worth of food last a week.
"I went to a shop the other day and it cost me £6.50 for a loaf of bread and butter.
"I’m extremely worried. The way prices are going up, it’s going to get to the stage where I just can’t afford to eat. I’ve given up smoking just so I’ve got a little bit extra in my pocket.”