800 turn to Cumbrian foodbank in just four months
Last updated at 12:51, Thursday, 08 August 2013
Nearly 800 people have turned to west Cumbria’s foodbank for help in just four months.
New figures from the North Lakes Foodbank, which covers Allerdale and Copeland, show 789 families have been given vouchers for the scheme since April 1.
The woman behind it, Jessie Hendry, said they were seeing a “100 per cent increase year-on-year” since starting just three years ago.
“It’s a continuous rise and we’re growing dramatically,” she said.
Jessie said two tonnes of food was given to people in crisis in Copeland and Allerdale each month. The main reasons for crisis are benefit delays, benefit changes and low income.
The foodbanks see people on a referral-only basis, with agencies assessing people beforehand. One voucher entitles a person to enough food to last them three days. A person can receive up to three vouchers.
Jessie said: “What we hope is that the voucher holders will provide a long-term strategy – that they will provide wrap-around support. Once we’ve stepped in and stepped out, the voucher distributors will be there to provide long-term help.
“We are very reactionary. What we can do is ask people to donate to us before that time and provide an infrastructure for our staff to cope with the increased demand.”
She said they saw an 85 per cent increase in the number of people collecting emergency food parcels from between the end of March and the beginning of May, following the introduction of the bedroom tax and benefit cuts.
Now foodbank staff are preparing for another influx of people seeking help when the government’s Universal Credit scheme is brought in later this year. It is not yet known when it will be rolled out across west Cumbria.
They are also expecting more people to come for help towards the end of the year, as the weather gets colder and people face large energy bills.
For more information on how to donate to the foodbank, contact New Life Church on 01946 66556. Or for more information about obtaining vouchers, telephone 01900 823854.
First published at 11:31, Thursday, 08 August 2013
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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Help out - How do you know i don't volunteer, i just don't go to the papers looking for recognition for what i do and if I did i would play down my rule and thank the people who donate as without them i wouldn't be able to help anyone!!Next time i suggest you don't mouth off without knowing the facts. JESSIE DIDNT THANK ANYONE - END OF.
The comment about giving aid to "corrupt countries" is quite frankly offensive, the last Labour Government must be commended on setting up the Overseas Aid Department and increasing the spend on overseas aid.E
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