A thousand people have received three days’ emergency food from the Ribble Valley foodbank in its first nine and a half months.
More than 900,000 people received three days’ emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks nationwide in 2013-14, compared to 346,992 in 2012-13. The Trust’s chairman Chris Mould has described the figures as the “tip of the iceberg” of UK food poverty.
Ruth Haldane, Ribble Valley foodbank manager, said: “Since opening in the Ribble Valley last July, we are seeing growing numbers turning to Ribble Valley foodbank for help, which shouldn’t be happening in the seventh richest country in the world.
“But the reality is that life is very difficult for people on low incomes at the moment, and increasing numbers are struggling to make ends meet and are hitting a crisis where they cannot afford food.
“We don’t think anyone should have to go hungry, which is why we’re so grateful for the incredible generosity of local people in donating food, funds and time to stop local hunger.
“We opened in Clitheroe in July, and a second centre in Longridge in January 2014, as we have referrals from across the Ribble Valley.”
Since opening, local people have generously donated 16 tonnes of food to the Ribble Valley foodbank, and more than 80 have volunteered.
Local schools, businesses and faith groups have provided vital support to the foodbank, enabling it to give three days’ nutritionally balanced food and support to people in crisis. Of the 1,000 people given three days’ emergency food, 368 were children.
Despite signs of economic recovery, the poorest have seen incomes squeezed even more than last year. As well as providing emergency food, Ribble Valley foodbank provides essentials to families at breaking point, as well as signposting them to other services across the Ribble Valley.