A COUPLE who have received help from a Reading-based foodbank will tomorrow go on national television to explain why. ITV’s This Morning programme will include a focus on the rapid growth in demand for foodbanks and comes a day after The Trussell Trust released figures revealing the biggest rise in numbers given emergency food since the charity began in 2000.
Almost 350,000 people have received at least three days emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks during the last 12 months, nearly 100,000 more than anticipated and close to triple the number helped in 2011-12.
That demand has been echoed by ReadiFood, which is based in Silver Street, Reading. It is currently sending out around 130 parcels a week – and that figure is rising.
Malcolm Peirce, director of ReadiFood said: “ITV’s This Morning programme tomorrow will have a couple from Reading talking about why they needed to come to ReadiFood for a food parcel.”
The Trussell Trust has seen a 76 percent increase in the number of foodbanks launched since April 2012 but has seen a 170 percent increase in numbers of people given emergency food. Well-established foodbanks that have been running for several years are showing significant rises in numbers helped during the last 12 months. Christian charity The Trussell Trust is launching three new foodbanks every week to help meet demand and has launched 345 UK foodbanks in partnership with churches and communities to date. One of the very latest is run by Churches Together Wokingham.
Only four per cent of people turned to foodbanks due to homelessness; 30% were referred due to benefit delay; 18% low income and 15% benefit changes (up from 11% in 2011-12). Other reasons included domestic violence, sickness, refused crisis loans, debt and unemployment. The majority of people turning to foodbanks were working age families.
The Trussell Trust’s Executive Chairman Chris Mould said: “The sheer volume of people who are turning to foodbanks because they can’t afford food is a wake-up call to the nation that we cannot ignore the hunger on our doorstep. Politicians across the political spectrum urgently need to recognise the real extent of UK food poverty and create fresh policies that better address its underlying causes.
“This is more important than ever as the impact of the biggest reforms to the welfare state since it began start to take effect. Since April 1st we have already seen increasing numbers of people in crisis being sent to foodbanks with nowhere else to go.”
The issue was also raised at Prime Minster’s Questions yesterday with Labour MP Virendra Sharma saying it is a “mark of shame” that the Red Cross is to distribute food parcels in the UK for the first time since the Second World War, while Labour leader Ed Miliband told David Cameron that living standards are falling month-by-month. He added that more people are using food banks and also criticised the energy firm SSE’s decision to raise prices.
This Morning is on air from 10.45am and is hosted by Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby. The show is also on the ITV Player.
Updated 8.38am Thursday, October 17 – Daybreak changed to This Morning.
Updated 9.13am Thursday, October 17 – Changed programme picture and presenters names.
Read 263 times Last modified on Thursday, 17 October 2013 08:14