New figures show 3166 emergency food supplies given to local people by
The Bestwood & Bulwell Foodbank in last year – more than ever before.
- 3166 three day emergency food supplies given to local people in crisis by The Bestwood & Bulwell Foodbank in 2016-17 – over 1466 went to children
- Latest statistics published by The Trussell Trust foodbank network show UK-wide foodbank figures are still not decreasing
- 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 foodbank 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%
Over 3165 three day emergency food supplies were provided to local people in crisis by The Bestwood & Bulwell foodbank during 2016-17, compared to 2805 in 2015-16. Of this number, 1466 went to children. The top three reasons for foodbank referral were: benefit delay 21%; benefit change 21%; low income 30%.
Over the last year, local people have donated 24 tonnes of food to The Bestwood & Bulwell Foodbank, and over 40 volunteered. Local schools, businesses and faith groups have provided vital support to the foodbank, enabling us to give three days’ nutritionally balanced food and support to people in crisis.
The Bestwood & Bulwell Foodbank shares the concerns of other Trussell Trust foodbanks in Universal Credit rollout areas about the adverse side effects the new system can have on people. The 6+ week waiting period for a first payment can contribute to debt, mental health issues and rent arrears. The effects of these can last even after people receive their Universal Credit payments, as bills and debts pile up. The Bestwood & Bulwell Foodbank is working hard to stop local people affected going hungry but is troubled by the extra pressure this puts on food donation stocks and volunteers’ time and emotional welfare.
As well as providing emergency food, The Bestwood & Bulwell Foodbank provides essentials like washing powder, nappies and sanitary products to families who are struggling, as well as signposting them to other services in the local area. Many Trussell Trust foodbanks, including The Bestwood & Bulwell Foodbank, are partnering with other agencies to provide additional services such as welfare advice, budgeting help and debt support at the foodbank itself, helping people to break out of crisis.
Nigel Webster, Foodbank Manager of The Bestwood & Bulwell Foodbank said:
“It is deeply concerning that we are still seeing an increase in the number of three day emergency food supplies provided to local people in crisis in the Nottingham over the last year. Anybody could find themselves in need of the foodbank. Every week people are referred to us after being hit by something unavoidable – such as illness, a delay in a benefit payment or an unexpected bill – means food is simply unaffordable. It really is only with the community’s support that we’re able to provide vital emergency help when it matters most, and we hope that one day there will be no need for us in the Nottingham area. But until that day comes, we will continue to offer the best possible service to help local people facing a crisis. Thank you so much to everyone in the Nottingham area who already donates time, food and money to help local people. If you’re not already involved, we’d love to hear from you!”
Despite generous donations of food, there are many hidden costs to run the foodbank. Costs include warehouse space, to sort and stock donated food and other overheads like utilities and insurances. The foodbank welcomes any new offers of help with funding – local businesses, organisations and individuals interested in supporting the foodbank’s work can find out more at https://bestwoodbulwell.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-money/
Nigel Webster, Foodbank Manager, can be reached on [email protected] or 0115 9751825