Cambridge City Foodbank has revealed that since the launch of its Fuel Scheme in 2020, the charity has helped over 870 people to pay their energy bills, with nearly 70% of these people being supported in the last 12 months. In the three months from January-March 2022, demand for the scheme has doubled since the same period in 2021.
Through its Fuel Scheme, Cambridge City Foodbank is able to provide gas and electricity top-up vouchers to people facing financial crisis. The scheme works in a similar way to the charity’s food provision; Cambridge City Foodbank has relationships with agencies across the city which are able to refer people in need. The Foodbank then provides people with a voucher which they can take to their local shop or post office to top-up their gas and electricity pre-payment meter.
Cambridge City Foodbank’s Fuel Scheme is operated by volunteers and is funded almost entirely by generous donations from the public. As the cost of living continues to rise across Cambridgeshire, the Foodbank is asking for the public’s support to ensure the continuation of the scheme, during a time of extremely high demand.
Margaret Saner, CEO, Cambridge City Foodbank, comments: “It is an extremely difficult time for many people in our city, with those who never thought they would need to use a Foodbank struggling to make ends meet. While our Foodbank centres are able to provide people with three days’ worth of emergency food, how are they meant to cook the food if they cannot pay for gas and electricity? So, the Fuel Scheme complements our Foodbank offering and ensures people facing food poverty are fully supported.
“An increasing number of individuals and families across Cambridgeshire are feeling the pinch, but any support the community can provide – no matter how big or small – will go a long way in helping people who desperately need it.”
Those seeking help from the scheme can request a referral from Citizens Advice or can visit the C3 church office on Friday mornings. Individuals already working with a local support agency should check with them to see if they are able to issue a referral.