Norwich foodbank highlights concerns for this winter
Norwich Foodbank provided 4,302 three day emergency food supplies to local people between 1st April and 30th September this year. Of this number, 1,349 went to children.
The foodbank, a member of The Trussell Trust’s network which has today reported a UK-wide increase foodbank use, is concerned its help will be even more needed in the next six months of the year, as the colder weather draws in.
Although for Norwich foodbank, the figures are a 10% decrease on the same period last year, the charity believes this is due to signposting and additional support given at the foodbank as well as the closure or restructuring at several agencies who referred to the foodbank in the previous 6 months.
Hannah Worsley, Norwich Foodbank Manager said: “It’s a real concern that in only six months we’ve provided 4,302 emergency supplies to local people. These figures don’t even cover our busiest time of year - as the colder weather draws in, we often find more people needing our help. We are also at the beginning of the Universal Credit full service and so do expect our numbers to rise in the coming weeks and months, based on other foodbank’s experience across the UK.
“It’s not right that anyone in Norwich is being forced to turn to our foodbank. Our volunteers offer vital support when it matters most, but they should not need to. We want to see an end to local people needing emergency food – with a benefits system that catches people before they fall into crisis, and secure work that provides people with enough money to cover the cost of essentials, we could reach that future. We’re determined to make sure that until that time comes, emergency help is here for people, but there needs to be some long-term change because we don’t want to be here forever.”
The foodbank is particularly in need of Christmas treats such as chocolate, as well as standard food parcel items including long life milk and fruit juice, tinned tomatoes and sponge puddings. The charity has asked for festive donations to be donated in November or early December at the latest, to ensure volunteers have enough time to process and distribute these donations to people before Christmas.
The running costs for the foodbank are raised locally to enable them to continue their work. Costs include volunteer mileage to collect donations and drop off food parcels to the 10 distribution centres, and overheads like utilities and insurances.
The foodbank welcomes any new offers of help with funding – local businesses, organisations and individuals interested in supporting the foodbank’s work can find out more at www.norwichfoodbank.co.uk.