Shock­ing new fig­ures for food­bank re­fer­rals

More than half come from fam­i­lies with young chil­dren

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - JAKE KEITH

More than half of food­bank re­fer­rals to a Dundee char­ity are from house­holds with chil­dren, shock­ing new fig­ures re­veal.

Es­ti­mates by Taught by Muham­mad (TBM) show 54% of food parcels de­liv­ered in the city be­tween Au­gust and the start of November were to fam­i­lies with un­der-16s.

Rizwan Rafik, project man­ager at TBM, said the fig­ures were “quite high” but that they aligned with re­cent fig­ures from the End Child Poverty Coali­tion which es­ti­mated more than a quar­ter of the city’s chil­dren are liv­ing in poverty.

He said: “Sadly the high num­ber of fam­i­lies be­ing re­ferred is some­thing we see on a daily ba­sis.

“The sit­u­a­tion doesn’t seem to be im­prov­ing. The thing is, peo­ple who are in cri­sis will of­ten think about their chil­dren first be­fore them­selves.

“They won’t want their kids to go with­out – that’s the last thing they would wish to hap­pen.

“It’s so im­por­tant for school­child­ren to get a bal­anced diet. For them to do well in ed­u­ca­tion, nu­tri­tion goes hand in hand.”

The fig­ures also re­veal 57% of house­holds were claim­ing ei­ther be­cause of a de­lay or a change in ben­e­fits, some­thing re­ported through­out the UK as Uni­ver­sal Credit is rolled out.

Al­most half of re­fer­rals are for just two of the city’s eight coun­cil wards — Cold­side makes up 24% of the to­tal, while Lochee con­tains 22%.

The food­bank, as well as TBM’s var­i­ous other pro­grammes, is cur­rently on the look­out for ad­di­tional vol­un­teers.

The char­ity is host­ing a vol­un­teer in­for­ma­tion evening on Wed­nes­day at Siz­zlers on Guthrie Street from 7pm, where free food will be pro­vided.

Ev­ery­one is wel­come. For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact info@yyi.org.uk

It’s im­por­tant for school chil­dren to get a bal­anced diet. RIZWAN RAFIK

Rizwan Rafik of the char­ity TBM.

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