Between 1st April 2017 and 31st March 2018, 3,195 three-day emergency food supplies were provided to 8,149 local people in crisis by Knowsley Foodbank, compared to 7,885 in the previous year. Of the 8,149 people helped this year, 3,713 of these were children.

The foodbank, a member of The Trussell Trust’s network which has today reported a UK-wide increase foodbank use, believes the local increase is due to people struggling with continued issues with benefit payments; benefit delays; insecure work, and the closure of local charities offering crisis support.

Knowsley Foodbank shares the concerns of foodbanks in full Universal Credit rollout areas, highlighted this week by The Trussell Trust in a new report about the difficulties some people are experiencing, and is preparing for Universal Credit roll-out in Knowsley next month. They will monitor any impact of the initial wait, the lack of available statutory support, the inability of Universal Credit payments to cover the cost of living, and poor administration.

As part of a national network campaigning for change, the foodbank is working hard to offer practical emergency support to help prevent people affected going hungry, whilst simultaneously participating in vital research and raising awareness about the issues local people are facing.

Sue Torpey, Foodbank Manager of Knowsley Foodbank said:

“We don’t want to be here forever. No one in Knowsley 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 - 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, this is possible. But until that time, we’ll continue to provide vital support when it matters most - we’re dedicated to ensuring that people in our community with no money for food are able to access emergency support, and that 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.”