Data released yesterday (27 April), shows that 2,752 emergency food parcels were provided to local people who couldn’t afford the essentials between April 2021 and March 2022 - 2730 of these went to children.
New statistics reveal a 33% increase from the year before.
Aylesbury Foodbank says the rise is due to a number of factors combining to make life very difficult for those on low incomes.
Among these is the reduction of £20 a week in Universal Credit, the steep rise in fuel costs and overall increase in the cost of living.
The foodbank says people haven’t been helped by the government refusing to match the increase with benefits at the same rate.
The Trussell Trust network of which the Aylesbury Foodbank is a part of, has experienced its busiest winter outside of the height of the pandemic in 2020.
Nationwide data shows foodbanks in the network provided more than 2.1 million parcels to people on the lowest incomes across the UK from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022.
This represents a 4% increase on pre-pandemic figures in 2019-20 as more people across the country are unable to afford the essentials.
The Trussell Trust believes that there is becoming a growing crisis after the cut to Universal Credit in October 2021, as the cost of living continues to soar.
Aylesbury Foodbank highlighted the following figures:
· July – September 2021 saw a 10% increase in comparison to the same period in 2019
· October – December 2021 saw a 17% increase in comparison to the same period in 2019
· January – February 2022 saw a 22% increase in comparison to the same period in 2020
An Aylesbury Foodbank spokesman said: “Aylesbury Foodbank is clear that its team will always do all they can to help people in the community – but they cannot, and should not, be needing to distribute emergency food parcels on this scale.”
Heather-Joy Garrett, Aylesbury Foodbank manager, added: “There’ll always be a role for strong community groups looking out for their neighbours, and we're so grateful for the generous support of our volunteers and to local people who have donated to the food bank.
"Together, you’ve made sure that local people who can’t afford the essentials don’t face hunger.
“The support we see across the community for people on the lowest incomes is incredible. But it shouldn’t be needed.
"We should all be free from hunger.
"No one should be pushed deeper into poverty without enough money for the things we all need.
"It’s not right that anyone in Aylesbury Vale needs our food bank in the first place - everyone should be able to afford the essentials.
“At the moment the situation is only set to get worse, as this is just the start of the cost of living crisis.
"But we know what’s pushing people to need food banks like ours, so we know what needs to be done.
"People cannot afford to wait any longer for support – UK, national and local governments at all levels must use their powers and take urgent action now to strengthen our social security system so it keeps up with the true cost of living.”