We provide marketing support to West Cheshire Foodbank, and their parent charity, Trussell Trust, has recently undertaken one of the biggest pieces of research into hunger and foodbank use in the UK.
Their study brings to light some shocking statistics about food poverty as well as some insight into the ways in which we can move towards a future without the need for foodbanks. Here’s what they uncovered.
In Chester and Cheshire West, there are still people who cannot afford food. In fact, West Cheshire Foodbank has fed 9,800 people in the past year alone. This figure includes 6,042 adults and 3,758 children.
Of these people, 82% needed help from the foodbank more than once, and 48% needed help on more than 5 occasions. Many children often go hungry over the school holidays, too, as their free school meals would not be available.
Through their study, the charity identified that there are numerous, complex reasons for people needing to access foodbanks. A few key causes were that people struggle to pay their bills due to low pay, insecure work and debt. Sanctions and work capability assessments also had an impact.
On top of this, the 5-week wait for Universal Credit gives many families living paycheque to paycheque no choice but to access foodbanks. This is simply too long to wait for money to come in for basic necessities.
We need Government to take action to support those most vulnerable in our community. 5 weeks is far too long to wait for emergency support, and so West Cheshire Foodbank propose that you ask your local candidates to demand change; the current benefits system requires urgent reform.
Follow the hashtag #5WeeksTooLong on social media to keep up to date with the campaign, and thank you for your support. Nobody in our neighbourhoods should have to go hungry in this day and age.