‘This must not be­come the new nor­mal...’

Town’s food­bank fol­lows the na­tional trend of ris­ing de­mand

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

The Trus­sell Trust, which runs food­banks across the UK, has re­cently re­leased ‘record’ fig­ures show­ing that more than one mil­lion peo­ple have been fed by Trus­sell Trust food­banks over the past 12 months.

At the Chiltern Food­bank, based in The Broad­way, Che­sham, it fed 2,662 peo­ple in the Chiltern and Ayles­bury Vale dis­tricts dur­ing that same pe­riod, which was a 40 per cent in­crease on the same pe­riod last year.

UK-wide Trus­sell Trust fig­ures show 1,109,309 three day emer­gency food sup­plies were pro­vided to peo­ple in cri­sis by the char­ity’s net­work of 424 food­banks in the 2015/16 fi­nan­cial year, com­pared to 1,084,604 in 2014/15.

Of this num­ber, 415,866 went to chil­dren.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of The Trus­sell Trust David McAu­ley said: “Th­ese fig­ures on na­tional food­bank use prove that the num­bers of peo­ple hit­ting a cri­sis where they can­not af­ford to buy food are still far too high.

“One mil­lion three-day food sup­plies given out by our food­banks ev­ery year is one mil­lion too many. This must not be­come the new nor­mal.

“Re­duc­ing UK hunger will re­quire a col­lec­tive ef­fort from the vol­un­tary sec­tor, Govern­ment, DWP, busi­nesses and the pub­lic, and The Trus­sell Trust is keen to work with all th­ese groups to find so­lu­tions that stop so many peo­ple need­ing food­banks in fu­ture.”

Trus­sell Trust data shows that ben­e­fit de­lays and changes re­main the big­gest causes of food­bank use, ac­count­ing for 38 per cent of all re­fer­rals (26 per cent ben­e­fit de­lay; 12 per cent changes), a re­duc­tion on last year’s 43 per cent.

How­ever, Chiltern Food­bank is hop­ing to see a slight de­lay in clients be­cause just be­fore Easter, a Trus­sell Trust food­bank was es­tab­lished by churches in Ayles­bury, and so Chiltern Food­bank will no longer have to sup­ply food boxes to its two pre­vi­ous dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres in the town.

This will mean there will be a de­cline in the num­bers that Chiltern Food­bank feeds dur­ing the coming 12 months.

Chiltern Food­bank has dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres in Che­sham, Amer­sham, Lit­tle Chal­font and Wen­dover.

Chiltern Food­bank opened in Jan­uary 2011 as Che­sham Food­bank and was based at St Mary’s Church in Che­sham.

As de­mand for the ser­vice grew, it changed its name to Chiltern Food­bank in 2012 and in Septem­ber 2014, it moved into its cur­rent big­ger premises in The Broad­way.

Chiltern Food­bank pro­vides three days of nu­tri­tion­ally bal­anced food to sup­port peo­ple in cri­sis.

Claimants need a voucher avail­able from agen­cies such as the Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bu­reau, the Che­sham Sick and Poor Fund and Hous­ing In­ter­ac­tion Trust.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Chiltern Food­bank, in­clud­ing a list of its cur­rent do­na­tion needs, visit www.chiltern. food­bank.org.uk.

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