Sunday, 29 November 2015

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Shadow minister in Cumbrian foodbank visit

The Shadow Food Minister has visited Carlisle to see how volunteers at the city’s food bank are coping with soaring demand for its services.

Shadow minister visit photo
Huw Irranca-Davies MP with volunteer Jo Osborne

Huw Irranca-Davies met Rachael Rodway, who helped set up Carlisle Foodbank in 2012.

It provides food parcels to between 55 and 80 households each week, twice the number it was serving at this time last year.

The foodbank says many of its clients have sought help because their benefit payments have been delayed. Others are struggling to manage debts.

The Labour MP said: “What’s happening in Carlisle is being replicated across the country.

“We know that the number of people receiving donations from foodbanks has risen from around 40,000 in 2010 to more than 900,000 now. It’s an astronomical increase, a real failure of government policies to help the vulnerable.”

He added: “It is sickening to think that there are people who have their benefits stopped, who go to appeal and are successful, yet have to go six or nine months without payments coming in [while the appeal is heard].

“They should have a much faster appeal decision.”

Mr Irranca-Davies also visited the Carlisle World Shop in Lowthian’s Lane, which sells ethical Fairtrade products, and Fair Food Carlisle, the social enterprise that distributes locally sourced food.

He went campaigning in Castle ward with LeeSherriff – Labour’s candidate for Carlisle at the General Election next year – ahead of the European and Carlisle City Council elections on May 22.


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