There has been a huge increase in the number of people needing emergency food parcels in Cirencester, it has been revealed.
According to statistics released by the Trussell Trust, an organisation that runs more than 400 foodbanks across the UK, Cirencester Foodbank provided 2,597 emergency food parcels to people between April 1, 2019 and September 30, 2019.
Of the number, a staggering 1,252 went to children.
The parcels were given to those in need based in Cirencester, Fairford, Lechlade and Tetbury.
The figures represent a 25 per cent increase on the same period last year.
Rachel Brindley, foodbank manager of Cirencester Foodbank said: “It’s a real concern that in just six months we’ve provided 2,597 emergency supplies to local people.
“These figures don’t take into account our busiest time of year – as the colder weather draws in, we often find even more people needing our help.
“We believe that everyone should have enough money coming in to cover the basics.
“But right now, more and more people in our area being forced to our food bank’s doors. This isn’t right.
“While our help is needed, we’re dedicated to ensuring that people in our community without enough money for food are able to access emergency support.
“Our vital work in the community has only been possible because of the incredible generosity shown by local people who have donated food, time and funds. Thank you.”
As the general election approaches, Cirencester Foodbank is backing the Trussell Trust’s call for candidates on all sides to work towards a future where no one needs a food bank and pledge to protect people from hunger by ensuring everyone has enough money for the basics.
The Trussell Trust is asking the next government to end the five week wait for Universal Credit; ensure benefit payments cover the cost of living; and invest in local emergency support for people in crisis.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “We’re seeing more and more people being pushed to food banks than ever before.
“People across the country, driven by compassion and a strong sense of justice, have been doing what they can to help, but we all want to see things change.
“It’s time for candidates on all sides to ensure these values are lived out in policies that anchor people from poverty.
“This General Election, all political parties must pledge to protect people from hunger by ensuring everyone has enough money for the basics.
“We want our next government to start working towards a future where no one needs a food bank by ending the five week wait for Universal Credit; ensuring benefit payments cover the cost of living; and investing in local emergency support for people in crisis.
“Together, these three changes will put money back into the pockets of people who most need our support.
“It’s not right that anyone has to walk through the doors of a food bank in the UK.
“But it’s in our power as a country to end the need for food banks – this can change.”
To donate to or support the foodbank, go to https://cirencester.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/