Latest figures have revealed a big increase in people using a foodbank in Bestwood.
Nottingham now has 13 food banks whereas in 2010 there were none. Now figures this week released by the Bestwood and Bulwell foodbank have revealed user numbers are continuing to rise.
The figures released this week revealed that:
- 3,251 three-day emergency food supplies were given to local people in crisis by the Bestwood & Bulwell Foodbank in 2016/17 (This compares to 2,805 in 2015/16).
- Over 1,466 food parcels went to children.
- Local increase due to people struggling with continued issues with benefit payments; Universal Credit roll out in the area; low wages; insecure work; closure of local charities offering crisis support
- The Bestwood & Bulwell Food bank has seen an increase of 15% in three-day emergency food supplies in 2016/17 – the number of emergency food supplies to children has increased by 20%
- The top three reasons for food bank referral were: benefit delay 21%; benefit change 21%; low income 30%.
Nottingham City Council deputy leader Cllr Graham Chapman has raised concerns that the use of foodbanks is likely to rise further without changes in policy on pay, housing and measures like Universal Credit.
He said: “Seven years ago, there were no food banks in the city, now there are thirteen.
“We are grateful to those people who volunteer to run them but it’s not acceptable or civilized that they have become necessary.
“The Government says they are making savings but in reality, it’s a false economy. We know that as people are driven into poverty the social costs elsewhere rise, child protection costs rise, homelessness costs rise, the long-term costs in education rise and it divides society.
“The council is doing what it can to help those facing these problems, by continuing to fund welfare and debt advice services, continuing to top up discretionary housing payments and provide support with the bedroom tax and through good budget management, provide an extra £500,000 to combat homelessness.
“Ultimately, though, we want to work towards a day when food banks are once again unnecessary.”