This week the Trussell Trust reported the number of food parcels provided by its food banks across the UK, between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022.
The 2.1 million food parcels distributed nationally represent a 14% increase on 2019-20 (broadly speaking ‘pre-pandemic’), but a 15% decrease when compared to the pandemic over 2020-21.
So, how are things looking in Lichfield over the same time periods?
Compared to 2019-20 (+14% nationally), we have seen a massive 89% increase – and when we look at 2020-21 (-15% nationally) we have seen an 11% INCREASE.
And it doesn’t end there. 2022-23 is yet young but in the first four weeks of our year, we are looking at a 120% increase on last April.
We shouldn’t be surprised by this, considering the removal of the £20 Universal Credit uplift, the huge rise in household energy costs, the price of fuel, and food costs themselves rising. Inflation is outstripping household income increases, leaving those on benefits particularly vulnerable.
Far from everyone being able to afford the essentials, many people in our community are struggling to survive with their dignity and peace of mind intact.
‘A city without the need for foodbanks by 2025’ may look a long way off just now, but we continue to work towards this, and are working hard to support those who need our services. We are working with Citizens Advice and will have an adviser on hand at all of our food distribution sessions for at least the next two years – providing on-the-spot support to our users – with a focus on income maximisation.
Given time we are confident that this support will impact positively on the number of people seeking help from us.
We continue to be here for all those in need – and WE still need YOUR help please. The massive increase in numbers of people coming to us is stretching our food stocks to the limit, so please continue to give as you are able.
We really appreciate your generosity – thank you.