Slough Express

‘Urgent action’ is needed now

Slough: Charity says situation is set to get worse

- By Adrian William adrianw@baylismedi­ @AdrianW_BM

Slough Foodbank has called for ‘urgent action’ to tackle a cost-of-living crisis that has seen a significan­t rise in need for food packages in Slough.

New figures released by the charity reveal that more than 7,500 food parcels were provided for people between April 2021 and March 2022.

More than 2,700 of these went to children.

The overall number is an 11 per cent increase on 2019-20.

Slough Foodbank believes this is due to people’s finances being hit by the increasing cost of living.

It attributes part of this to the cut of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit last year.

Insecure or low-paid work is also a factor – those households need a ‘top-up’ to get them through the month, said the foodbank.

Slough also has many refugees and asylum seekers with ‘no recourse to public funds who are driven to use our foodbank to survive’.

“We also suspect that the numbers would be higher but are kept down by other groups in the area also offering food

support,” said Slough Foodbank.

“[We] cannot, and should not, be needing to distribute emergency food parcels on this scale, this is a welfare issue.”

Sue Sibany-King, Slough Foodbank manager said: “There’ll always be a role for strong community groups looking out for their neighbours.

“The support we see across the community for people on the lowest incomes is incredible.

“But it shouldn’t be needed. We should all be free from hunger. No one should be pushed deeper into poverty without enough money for the things we all need.

“It’s not right that anyone in the Slough area needs our food bank in the first place – everyone should be able to afford the essentials.

“At the moment the situation is only set to get worse, as this is just the start of the cost-of-living crisis.

“We know what needs to be done. People cannot afford to wait any longer for support – UK national and local government­s at all levels must use their powers and take urgent action now to strengthen our social security system so it keeps up with the true cost of living.”

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