Food bank figures show 'urgent action on poverty needed'

By Matthew Mckew

Saturday, April 26, 2014


MORE than 6,000 people used the Isle of Wight Foodbank in the last 12 months, it has been revealed.

Over the last year there has been an increase of 59 per cent in people having to rely on help from the food bank to make ends meet.

The total number of people using food banks in the South East is now 93,388.

In 2013-14 6,075 people used the Island’s food bank, as opposed to 3,875 the previous year.

The figures were released by the Christian charity behind the food banks, the Trussell Trust.

South east Green Party MEP Keith Taylor said: "This latest set of statistics from the Trussell Trust is conclusive in proving that the so-called 'economic recovery’ is a fallacy.

"Though the economy is growing it’s clearly not working. When thousands of my constituents are forced to use food banks, and the numbers keep growing, it’s abundantly clear that urgent action on poverty is required.

"To address the serious poverty faced by thousands in South East England, we need to ensure that jobs pay enough for people to build a life on. That means making the minimum wage a Living Wage.

"We also need to ensure that social security payments provide people with enough to get by on."

          Number of people using food banks in South East England            
                       2012/13                        2013/14 (estimate)                        2013/14 (actual)                        Actual Increase            
           Berkshire                        3224                        5164.8                        13113                        306.73%            
           Buckinghamshire                        957                        1533.1                        1414                        47.75%            
           East Sussex                        6961                        11151.5                        15952                        129.16%            
           Hampshire                        14234                        22802.9                        22655                        59.16%            
           Isle of Wight                        3875                        6207.8                        6075                        56.77%            
           Kent                        7015                        11238                        14078                        100.68%            
           Oxfordshire                        2879                        4612.2                        4353                        51.20%            
           Surrey                        2012                        3223.2                        6787                        237.33%            
           West Sussex                        4155                        6656.3                        8961                        115.67%            
           TOTAL for South East England            
           Apr – Apr                        2012/13                        2013/14 (estimate)                        2013/14 (actual)                        Increase            
           Adults:                        28839                        46202.9619                        59111                        104.97%            
           Children:                        17069                        27346.2449                        34277                        100.81%            
           Total:                        45908                        73549.2068                        93388                        103.42%            
           Projected increased for food banks in South East England:                        60.21%            
           Actual Increase for food bank use in South East England:                        103.42%            


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Displaying the last 10 of 52 comments - Show All Comments

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by Mike Crowe

29th April 2014, at 08:59:16

Peter, I have spent a long time wondering how to respond to your very biased posting.

I am not even going to try.

I bid you a good day.

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by Peter Jeffery

28th April 2014, at 20:13:42

Mike C and others,

This is the point, Lifestyle choice is seen as the reason to 'tag' people as scroungers.
Those who chose to leave home and live on benefits when they could have stayed at home, or who set out to have kids in order to get a flat or larger home, then please at least 'test' their elligibility for benefits.

However, please do not condemn everyone asking for foodbank help as being in the same group.

Many of your comments describe those outside the Jobcentre with their phones etc. Nobody seems to have visited the actual foodbank and seen them.

Let me tell you, at a time of desperation, asking for help is not easy, and made more difficult by the stigma of 'scrounger'

Mike C, you have my utmost respect for your efforts at the theatre, but I am sure that many of your volunteers and supporters may have had help in the past from similar schemes.

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by Mike Crowe

28th April 2014, at 17:31:52

"""That is the point David Blackford. Not everyone DOES get enough money to live on!!!!"""

That depends on the life style they choose.

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by James McAdder

28th April 2014, at 12:55:30

That is the point David Blackford. Not everyone DOES get enough money to live on!!!!

And while some people "foolishly" turn to pay day loans to pay for lifestyle items, some really do turn to them merely to eat.

Dave James. I said "well paid public sector workers" to differentiate from the low paid.

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by David Blackford

28th April 2014, at 12:32:43

Look James we are not living in the 1930s - Most of us are fortunate in not having money worries. But even at the lower end of the earnings/benefits scale, everyone gets enough money to live on - roof over head, heating/lighting and food - but how it is spent is where there are problems. Some foolishly end up borrowing (payday loan sharks etc) so that becomes an outgoing expense before the essentials and some may not wish to cook and live on expensive ready meals .
Wealthy people have accountants to manage their money. In a better World, those accountants would be helping the people with poorer financial circumstances

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by Dave James

28th April 2014, at 12:21:50

DB - I was working when I took out a phone contract and you can't cancel a phone contract because you become unemployed. I am now in full time employment again. And, due to health reasons, I am unable to drive so rely on rip off Southern Vectis for travel. Try living in the life of people who have really met rock bottom instead of highlighting the scroungers that we get in all aspects of life.
James, I work in the public sector worker (full time) and to survive I have to claim working tax credits so I am not well paid. Not all public sector workers are protected and well paid.
Instead of moaning why don't you put youselves in the shoes of the really hard up and needy people and post a few comments about them instead of trying to make them feel useless in society!!

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by James McAdder

28th April 2014, at 12:05:15

By "going hungry", I mean not eating AT ALL so you can give your children when little food is left in the house at the end of the month, or sitting in the dark because you had to spend money on food rather than putting it in the meter, or taking out a payday loan merely to eat at all.

And these are not "dole scroungers", these are people with jobs. Part time, low paid, zero hours contracts.

Which reminds me. Where is our local "people's champion", Mat Thomas, with his canned socialist diatribes? I guess its not teachers or other well paid and protected public sector workers doing the starving, is it?

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by David Blackford

28th April 2014, at 09:58:56

PS just reading what I just wrote someone might call me a miserable old s*d - please don't! - I've led a very full, very active and very enjoyable life

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by David Blackford

28th April 2014, at 09:19:52

Depends what you call hungry James. I never have breakfast - I have just one meal a day plus the odd sandwich or a biscuit if I feel peckish. I've always weighed 10 stone and (hopefully) pretty healthy.
I also have a PAYG mobile phone (no contract Dave J) Which I use only for emergency or urgent calls. No satellite TV - same old repeated films etc. - and I don't spend much on petrol as I enjoy walking

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by James McAdder

28th April 2014, at 08:01:50

How did people survive before foodbanks, David Blackford? They often went hungry or, pushed to the limit, resorted to crime.

Yes, DenYoung, I am "doing the opposite", because it is the right thIng to do.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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