In the week the Trussell Trust revealed that over 900,000 people had received three days’ emergency food from foodbanks in the past year, Crowborough Foodbank says the need in this part of East Sussex was “real and present”.
Since it was established three-months ago, Crowborough Foodbank has helped 112 people locally with emergency food – 60 adults and 52 children.
The Crowborough Foodbank was opened on 7th January as a project of ‘Crowborough & Rotherfield Churches Together’, under the guidance of the ‘Trussell Trust’. The organising team say they were uncertain about the depth of need in the area, although over a year’s research suggested there was a demand.
Andrew Drummond Smith, Crowborough Foodbank Deputy Co-ordinator says:
Now that the need for a foodbank has been proved, the next step is to encourage wider awareness of its operation throughout the district. Every day people in the Crowborough area go hungry, for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill to domestic violence, to family breakdown or changes in benefit.
The foodbank provides a minimum of three days nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food and support from its base at the United Church in Croft Road. It is open every Tuesday and Friday between 2pm and 4pm. To claim food for themselves and their family, each client has to provide a voucher provided by one of Crowborough Foodbank’s referral agencies who include the Citizens Advice Bureau, Clued-up.info, Wealden Refuge, the Children’s Centre, School Nurses and Health Visitors.
The Trussell Trust’s Chairman, Chris Mould, says:
That 900,000 people have received three days’ food from a foodbank, close to triple the numbers helped last year, is shocking in 21st century Britain.
In the last year we’ve seen things get worse, rather than better, for many people on low-incomes. It’s been extremely tough for a lot of people, with parents not eating properly in order to feed their children and more people than ever experiencing seemingly unfair and harsh benefits sanctions.
Unless there is determined policy action to ensure that the benefits of national economic recovery reach people on low-incomes we won’t see life get better for the poorest anytime soon.
Video about how foodbanks work:
Freda Robinson, Crowborough Foodbank Co-ordinator says:
In the coming year we hope to increase the number of partner agencies who refer clients to us and to increase the awareness of whom we support and how those facing a crisis can benefit from the foodbank.