Epsom & Ewell Foodbank provided 4,068 three day emergency food parcels to local people between April 2018 to March 2019. Of this number, 1,554 went to children.
Our foodbank’s figures feed into a larger national picture with a record increase in foodbank use across the UK, reported today by the Trussell Trust.
We are backing calls from the Trussell Trust to ensure the benefits system is able to protect people from poverty.
These figures are a 44% increase on the same period last year. We believe the local increase is due to people struggling with continued issues with benefit payments; issues with Universal Credit such as the five-week wait; and low income.
We share the concerns of other foodbanks in the Trussell Trust’s network about Universal Credit – it is not the only benefit payment people referred to us have experienced problems with, but the issues faced by local people moving on to the new system are significant. We have needed to give emergency food and support to people who are both waiting at least five weeks for a first Universal Credit payment or receiving payments that don’t cover the cost of essentials.
Jonathan Lees, food bank manager of Epsom & Ewell Foodbank said: “No-one in Epsom and Ewell should need a foodbank’s help and we want to see an end to local people needing emergency food at all. It doesn’t have to be this way – our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty. Universal Credit should be part of the solution but currently the five-week wait is leaving many without enough money to cover the basics. This isn’t right.
“Until we reach a future where foodbanks are no longer needed, we’ll continue to provide vital support when it matters most. We’re dedicated to ensuring that people in our community without enough money for food are able to access emergency support. Our vital work in the community has only been possible in the last year because of the incredible generosity shown by local people in donating food, time and funds. Thank you.”
Our running costs are raised locally to enable us to continue our work. Costs include warehouse space, to sort and stock donated food, a van to pick up donated food and deliver to distribution centres, and other overheads such as utilities and insurances. We welcome any new offers of help with funding – local businesses, organisations and individuals interested in supporting our work can find out more at www.epsomewell.foodbank.org.uk
Jonathan Lees (Foodbank Manager) can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0208 786 8221
- Epsom & Ewell Foodbank has been providing three days emergency food and support to local people since October 2012.
- 47 tonnes of food were donated by the local community between April 2018 – March 2019. Of that, 45 tonnes were given out as emergency food parcels.
- Epsom & Ewell Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust network. For UK-wide Trussell Trust foodbank statistics visit https://www.trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/.