New figures released by Cambridge City Foodbank today reveal that 10,249 emergency food parcels were provided to local people who couldn’t afford to purchase essentials between April 2021 and March 2022; 3,973 of these parcels went to children.
The Foodbank believes that the increase in demand is due to people’s finances being hit by the rising cost of living; the impact of the withdrawal of the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit payments; and people not being able to get the right support at the right time due to the pandemic.
Cambridge City Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust network, which has just experienced one of its busiest ever winters. Foodbanks in the Trussell Trust network provided more than 2.1 million parcels to people on the lowest incomes across the UK from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022. This is a 14% increase on pre-pandemic figures in 2019-20 as more and more people across the country are unable to afford the essentials needed to eat, stay warm, dry and clean.
The need for foodbanks in the Trussell Trust network has accelerated throughout the past six months, and foodbank managers are warning of a growing crisis following the cut to Universal Credit in October 2021, as the cost of living continues to soar:
- July – September 2021 saw a 10% increase in comparison to the same period in 2019
- October – December 2021 saw a 17% increase in comparison to the same period in 2019
- January – February 2022 saw a 22% increase in comparison to the same period in 2020
Margaret Saner, CEO of Cambridge City Foodbank, comments: “The cost of living in the UK and across Cambridgeshire is rising at an unprecedented rate. Before the pandemic, housing and rental prices in our city were already extremely high. Now, all costs are skyrocketing – from big commitments like rent and utility bills, through to everyday essentials, like fruit and vegetables. It doesn’t take much to tip someone over the edge into food poverty – many people are already struggling to make ends meet and the recent rise in energy prices is set to be utterly destructive to many families.
“The generosity of the public, through both food and financial donations, is essential to the continued running of our Foodbank, during what is an extremely busy time, which is only getting worse. We are enormously grateful to the Cambridge community for its support, as well as the help of our dedicated team of volunteers who ensure the Foodbank can keep running for those who so desperately need our help.”
To find out how to support Cambridge City Foodbank, please visit: https://cambridgecity.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/