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Thousands turning to Isle of Wight Foodbank in crisis

Sunday, April 24, 2016 - 8:00

DESPITE a decrease in demand for the Isle of Wight Foodbank this year, it is still a crisis situation that 'must not become the new normal’, the Isle of Wight co-ordinator has warned.
Nationally foodbanks provided more than one million emergency supplies last year according to the latest figures published by national charity The Trussell Trust, which show foodbank use remains at record levels.
The Isle of Wight Foodbank actually saw a decrease in demand, from 4,847 asking for help in 2014/15 to 4,338 last year.
But manager Hannah King said it was still a crisis situation and warned it must not become the new normal.
"We welcome a drop in need for the foodbank at the moment and really hope this trend continues, but three-day emergency food supplies provided to 4,338 people in crisis is still too many and more needs to be done," she said.
"We help people from all walks of life but the main reasons people come to us is due to benefit problems and low income.
"We find people on low incomes are often very innovative in managing extremely low budgets, but when a 'life shock’ from an outside source happens — like an unexpected bill or redundancy — there is no breathing space to cushion family finances and that’s where foodbank can help.
"It’s so important a foodbank can be there for someone when it feels like there’s nowhere else to turn."
The Isle of Wight Foodbank has 234 volunteers, described by Hannah as 'a godsend’, who help run its seven distribution centres.
The charity works with around 100 frontline care professionals, such as children’s centre staff, who give food vouchers to people in need.
Find out about the Fight for the Wight campaign and its call for government to give more funding to public services on the Isle of Wight here.

Reporter: [email protected]

 


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