Leeds North and West Foodbank provided 5,324 three-day emergency food supplies to local people between 1st April and 30th September this year. Of this number, 2,003 went to children.
The figures are a 28.9% increase on the same period last year. The charity believes the local increase is due to people struggling with continued issues with benefit payments and issues with Universal Credit.
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.
Karen Burgon, Project Director of Leeds North and West Foodbank said:
“It’s a real concern that in only six months we’ve provided 5,324 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.
“It’s not right that anyone in Leeds 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 tinned meat fish and vegetables along with Long life milk and fruit juices. The charity has asked for festive donations to be donated in 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 around £50,000 a year, all of which is raised locally to enable them to continue their 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 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:
Contact: Karen Burgon, Project Director firstname.lastname@example.org or 07860 952 343.