‘This must not become the new normal...’
Town’s foodbank follows the national trend of rising demand
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.