Charity warns of 'tsunami of need' as thousands more turn to Northamptonshire foodbanks
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A charity warning this winter is set to be the “hardest yet” as figures showed thousands more parcels being handed out by Northamptonshire foodbanks.
Trussell Trust, which operates the UK's largest food bank network, says a "tsunami of need" is gripping the UK as demand outstrips donations nationally for the first time. Latest figures from the charity showed 12,814 parcels were handed out at five foodbanks run by the Trussell Trust in Northamptonshire between April and September — up by one-third from the same period in 2021.
Data shows the cost of living crisis is biting deeper in West Northamptonshire where two Trussell Trust foodbanks gave out 9,295 parcels in six months — up a whopping 41 percent from 2021. In North Northamptonshire, the figure was up by 17 percent from 3,002 to 3,519.
Nationally, the number of parcels handed out nationwide soared to more than 1.2 million over the same period – a 33 percent increase on figures from April to September 2021.
Trussell Trust chief executive Emma Revie said: “We know that with the right support and a stable and sufficient income, people don’t need to turn to food banks for support.
"Over the last few years, the Government has acted to protect people who are struggling, and this action has had made a difference.
"They must now act again with swift support now to help people through the winter, and with vision for the longer-term to ensure that social security is always enough to weather challenging times."
These figures cover food parcels handed out by the charity itself, but other organisations may also be providing support to those in need in the area.
Nationally, nearly half a million parcels handed out between April and September went to children — these included 3,558 in West Northamptonshire, a rise of 48 percent on the year before. In North Northamptonshire, the figure of 1,286 parcels for children was 17 percent up on the same six months in 2021.
Soaring costs of fuel, food and heating has caused unprecedented levels of demand for support.
In the last six months, the Trussell Trust says nearly 330,000 people have been referred to a food bank for the first time and a recent survey by the charity found that one in five food bank users were from working households.
It says the Government must "close the gap" between prices and incomes, in part by uprating benefits in line with inflation.
A Department of Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “We are directly supporting households in need following the aftershocks from the pandemic and Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine, including sending another cost of living payment this month.
“Our extensive immediate support for families also includes our Energy Price Guarantee, saving around £700 for a typical household over winter and our Household Support Fund, combined with longer-term changes such as altering Universal Credit to help people keep £1,000 more of what they earn every year.”