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Foodbanks are part of life, says charity boss

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By Tom Hanley
Dumfries and West
Foodbanks are part of life, says charity boss

EMERGENCY foodbank use throughout Dumfries and Galloway has increased by 24 per cent in the last year as families struggle to make ends meet.

Key findings from the report published by the Trussell Trust revealed that 1758 adults from the region accessed crisis support and three day emergency food parcels in 2016/17, while 441 children also received assistance.
This is an increase of 422 people from 2015/16, and key findings from the report point to insecure and seasonal work, waiting periods for Universal Credit, and online systems as areas needing improvement in order to reverse the rise.
Findings from the report have outlined concerns regarding mounting pressure to organisations and volunteers, due to the increase of those turning to foodbanks for help increasing, and one such organisation is the First Base Foodbank in Dumfries.
The First Base Foodbank hands out emergency food parcels containing enough nutritious and balanced foodstuffs to last three days, while giving out tasty recipes which enable people to stretch their food as far as they can.
Director Mark Frankland feels that the issues and problems leading to people needing the help of foodbanks are not being addressed, and that things get worse every single year.
He said: “At the First Base Agency we are seeing more and more people who simply cannot make ends meet.
“Savings for a rainy day are becoming a thing of the past. The coming winter promises to be harder than ever as the impact of the weakened pound drives up food and power costs.
“The problem is the same as ever, it just gets steadily worse with every passing year – people earn less, stuff costs more, everyone becomes that little bit poorer. No wonder foodbanks are now such an established part of everyday life.”

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