Salisbury food bank charity predicts "busiest summer" yet

Salisbury food bank charity predicts "busiest summer" yet

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 1:10pm 16th July 2019. (Updated at 1:18pm 16th July 2019)

The Trussell Trust has revealed there was a 20% increase in emergency food parcels for children in the UK last summer.

During the long summer holidays in 2018 a staggering 87,496 parcels went to children, a surge of more than a fifth compared to 2017.

More than a third of all emergency food parcels distributed by the charity's network of food banks go to children, but there is extra financial pressure during the holiday period for families who are entitled to free school meals during term time.

As schools across the country begin breaking up for the summer, the Trussell Trust is urging people check what items their local food bank is most in need of.

Spire FM has recently run a campaign to support Salisbury's food bank raising more than 2.2 tonnes.

While these donations are vital for helping families during the next six weeks, the charity has stressed food banks are not a long-term solution, and more must be done to ensure people have enough money for essentials like food.

The Trussell Trust's chief executive Emma Revie said:

"Food banks will do all they can to help families over the summer, with many running holiday clubs to support parents who find that their income simply won't stretch to meet the extra pressure of missing free school meals or paying for additional childcare during the holidays. But no charity can replace the dignity of having enough money for the basics.

"While it's great to see schemes in place to tackle holiday hunger, food banks and other emergency food provision cannot, and must not, be a long term solution to poverty. Ultimately, we should all be protected from needing a food bank's help, no matter the time of the year."

Salisbury foodbank
Food banks like Salisbury's on Ashfield Road are expecting their busiest summer.

The Trussell Trust believes tackling delays and gaps in benefits, which affect families' ability to afford essentials, should be treated as a priority by the Government.

The charity says the most immediate relief for thousands of people would be to end the five week wait for a first Universal Credit payment, a key driver of need at food banks in the charity's network.

Chief Exec Emma Revie says action must be taken now.

"If we are to end hunger in the UK, we need to make sure everyone is anchored from being swept into poverty. The Government needs to ensure benefit payments reflect the true cost of living and work is secure, paying the real Living Wage. Every family should have enough money coming in for a decent standard of living. No child should face going hungry in the UK."

 

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