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Growing need for foodbank revealed

Section:  Annan and Eskdale, Dumfries and West, Lockerbie and Lochmaben, Moffat  | Tags:

DEMAND for emergency food supplies rose by 35 per cent in the region last year, compared to the year before.

Between April 1 2017 and March 31 2018, a total of 2352 three-day emergency food supplies were provided to local people in crisis by Dumfriesshire Foodbank, with 439 going to children.

And that compares to 1736 in the previous year.

Dumfriesshire Foodbank, a member of The Trussell Trust’s network which has reported a UK-wide increase of foodbank use, believes the local increase is due to people struggling with low income, benefit delays, benefit changes and issues with Universal Credit in the area. Foodbank manager Fiona Dalgleish says the Dumfriesshire base shares the concerns of other foodbanks in full Universal Credit rollout areas, highlighted by The Trussell Trust in a new report about the difficulties some people are experiencing.

She says the foodbank has provided emergency food and support to people needing help due to the adverse 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.

Fiona said: “We don’t want to be here forever. No one in Dumfriesshire 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.”

n The foodbank welcomes any new offers of help with funding and local businesses, organisations and individuals interested in supporting the foodbank’s work should contact Fiona on:

01387 256310.

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