Graphic: Demand for foodbank help on the increase in Norfolk and Suffolk

Volunteers working hard to help at the Norwich Foodbank at Henderson Business Park.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY Volunteers working hard to help at the Norwich Foodbank at Henderson Business Park. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Annabelle Dickson annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk
Saturday, March 1, 2014
9:57 AM

Demand for foodbanks has showed no signs of easing with figures showing the numbers seeking help continuing to rise.

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Foodbank use in the regionFoodbank use in the region

Norwich Foodbank provided three days of food for 932 people in January – its biggest month after December – with almost 9,000 people seeking help last year.

The most recent figures which give the overall picture for Trussell Trust foodbanks in each Eastern region county show that almost as many people in Norfolk and Suffolk visited foodbanks between April and September as in the whole of the previous year.

Foodbank project co-ordinator Grant Habershon said the number of families using foodbanks had increased and there was a large number of people, both working and not working, who had problems with benefits.

“Benefits took longer to come through than they did two years ago. That is a big issue that we have taken up with [MPs] Chloe Smith and Simon Wright,” he added.

But he also said the increased figures was down to the establishment of more foodbanks, with the publicity surrounding the movement taking away the stigma.

He said the biggest change the government could make was to get benefits system sorted out so people were paid on time.

The Trussell Trust county figures were prepared for Eastern Euro MP Richard Howitt who wants the government to claim cash from the European Union to help people suffering extreme poverty.

A fund was backed in a 
vote at the European Parliament this week, but the government is unliklely to accept it, saying food aid was better decided nationally rather than by Brussels.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says that taking the funding would mean other schemes 
missed out, and stressed that Britain was not losing the cash.

Norwich North candidate Jessica Asato said: “It is shocking that the Conservatives and UKIP in the European Parliament have teamed up to vote against the UK receiving an additional £22 million of funding to help foodbanks in our country.”

Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham, who visited a foodbank yesterday, said he would talk to the regional director of Jobcentre Plus about the delays.

“The Jobcentre Plus does appear to be well run, staff have a can-do attitude and give people hope,” he said.

“However I think that the amount of benefit delays there are, it is not acceptable. There is no excuse. There should be only short period of time.”

What do you think? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, Norwich Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

Comment – Page 10

19 comments

  • Gives them more spare money to buy there fags and booze. Hey why do they need cakes ,biscuits and chocolate bars for ?

    Report this comment

    Blocked User

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • A couple of you are totally right. When I had been unemployed for 6 months I had to attend a one day course on job applications. There were 30 people on the course. Anyone who could produce public transport tickets could go to a desk and obtain a refund. Only three of us did so. Given one or two lived within walking distance then all the rest had come by car. Most of the people on the course had been on false disability claims but were now back on the jobseekers list.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Gives them more spare money to buy there fags and booze. Hey why do they need cakes ,biscuits and chocolate bars for ?

    Report this comment

    Blocked User

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Of course there will be an increase in demand, once people find out they can get free food they will tell their friends and once they have spent all their benefits on tattoos , their dogs and fags they can all get free food

    Report this comment

    blister

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Keep 'em coming John.

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

  • the main reason why this country is in trouble is because of thirteen years of labour . Foodbanks would not exist if british taxes were spent on british people

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

  • Meanwhile tax evasion and fraudulent accounting bypasses approx. 180 billion past the exchequer into off shore havens, add to that the tax loopholes, opened up by this coalition, of global multinationaltionals and you could erradicate child poverty. All in it together? well, not so, because BG laments are down to failing public services, not down to the last minute sticky plaster applied by the Thrussell Trust. What if the Thrussel trust can't cope? will we see roaming bands of hungry people raiding allotments? will these people be suffering quietly in a dignified British way? or will they revolt? And what answers has UKIP got to this? let me guess, its 'lets get out of Europe', their panacea to everything.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Could we please not use the word "Demand" but rather "Need". Of course there is a demand for free nosh. I'd be along there like a flash if I thought I could. Offer something for free and you will get all sorts. My daughter and her friends really enjoy those afternoons in Norwich where they hand out free yoghurt drinks or little soft drinks or whatever. They come back laden with them and I ask why they have so many. "Because they are free and we can keep going back and getting them" But when I ask whether they actually like them all I get is disgusted looks. People will always take free gifts. Get a reality check all of you who think you are being all humble and full of goodness and have that pained "Look at me, I am a saint" expression on your faces. I suspect you are largely being taken for a ride. If people are truly starving then replace the benefits system with foodstamps and paid accommodation and stamps for other items. Should concentrate people's minds.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

  • It does seem very sad that many of those people having to use food banks in Great Yarmouth are East Europeans who have seen their benefits cut by this government, it is wrong that they have arrived here only to find they need handouts

    Report this comment

    blister

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • How many so called people living on poverty and uses food banks have the following --- a car , internet. , mobile phones , tablets laptops , holidays , smoke , drink , flat screen tv's , games consoles etc etc etc - if they have any of the following they are not living in poverty

    Report this comment

    Norwich

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

  • Of course if you offer something up as free people will queue for it even if they need it or not. Free food vouchers fall into this category as well. What is the means test behind the issue of food vouchers? i.e. does one need to provide documentary evidence that one is broke? or is it just a case of issuing the vouchers on someones say-so?

    Report this comment

    expat

    Monday, March 3, 2014

  • If the benefit money was used to buy cheap fresh produce, pasta etc and cook your own meals, rather than take aways and pre cooked dinners, then it would go far enough so that people could manage until their next payment.

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • " how many of these so called people on poverty have the following --- a car , go on holidays , mobile phone etc etc " . Don't forget John many of these people still have two kidneys as well.....they should be forced to sell one before any benefits are issued. Now , back to my Mail on Sunday .

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

  • the alarming rise in foodbank use certainly doesn't line up with Camerons talk of a booming british economy

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • The Trusell fund ,Jessica Assato me thinks Labour propaganda machine at work.Who over borrowed and got us into debt big time ? No sorry, not me

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

  • And just how is a 3 day box of miscellaneous food items 3 times a years comes anywhere near to solving the problems many of these families have. Would not the efforts of the Trusell Trust and other well intentioned people be better spent providing one to one help with these families, many of whom clearly have problems managing their finances. These figures are not alarmist as they appear as they encompass the total number of people in family units. The figure of 9000 is therefore misleading but as the MD of the Trusell Fund is a fully paid up member of the Labour Party, expect Food Banks to be the subject of many more press releases by the Labour Party on the lead up to 2015 election.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • There are no people in this country living in poverty just people who will spend their benefit money on flat screen televisions , tattoos and their animals rather than on feeding their families

    Report this comment

    blister

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • @Larson E Whipsnade. You do however have to ask how so many of these people who are supposed to have no food in their cupboards turn up in their cars to collect their goodie bags. But a@ Milecross. the reason why many people are on low pay is the disastrous minimum wage introduced by TB. Employers love it because they can get a part time work force on tap knowing full well that for the majority of their workers the govt is going to make up the difference by a multi of tax credits and welfare payments. Theses part times also loved it one time it at one time because they could get away with doing very little for an income equivalent to above the average for this region. But as benefits are being pared back its not so rosy as it used to be. What`s round comes round I say.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • Benefits Street showed that, in certain instances, benfits will be spent on drugs and alcohol when food is handed out free of charge.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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