food banks the trussell trust

Foodbanks : Are the Supermarkets profiteering?

Are the Supermarkets profiteering from the Foodbanks and simply adding insult to injury under the guise of positive public relations? Or do they discount the products to cost price during the sales process if you say they are for the Foodbank?

I sign up for Google alerts for Berkshire and in this mornings news was this story by John Herring, reporter for Newbury Weekly News, entitled: Foodbank meeting a ‘hidden need’ in communities detailing how the West Berkshire Foodbank has been busy feeding a “definite hidden need” across the district.

I needed to find out more…

Clicking through on the UK Foodbank map and drilling down locally, I was surprised at the number of sources… what was shining out was the number of supermarkets getting involved and offering “drop of points!”

Ed: I get the need for this service but if people are paying full price for goods to give to the food banks then aren’t the supermarkets simply profiteering. The irony that they are directly part of the problem, hoovering up all the local retail opportunities at the cost of local jobs & communities, forcing people onto benefits, adding insult to injury in the form of positive PR???

I’ll have to dig a little deeper on the financial side of things but the dog needs a walk and I need to watch Murray this afternoon, so best switch priorities and continue with this later.

Below is a press release from FoodBank…

Biggest ever increase in UK foodbank use: 170% rise in numbers turning to foodbanks in last 12 months

Trussell Trust foodbanks have seen the biggest rise in numbers given emergency food since the charity began in 2000. Almost 350,000 people have received at least three days emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks during the last 12 months, nearly 100,000 more than anticipated and close to triple the number helped in 2011-12.

Rising cost of living, static incomes, changes to benefits, underemployment and unemployment have meant increasing numbers of people in the UK have hit a crisis that forces them to go hungry. This dramatic rise in foodbank usage predates April’s welfare reforms, which could see numbers increase further in 2013-14.

346,992 people received a minimum of three days emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks in 2012-13, compared to 128,697 in 2011-12 and up from 26,000 in 2008-09. Of those helped in 2012-13, 126,889 (36.6 percent) were children.

The Trussell Trust has seen a 76 percent increase in the number of foodbanks launched since April 2012 but has seen a 170 percent increase in numbers of people given emergency food. Well-established foodbanks that have been running for several years are showing significant rises in numbers helped during the last 12 months. Christian charity The Trussell Trust is launching three new foodbanks every week to help meet demand and has launched 345 UK foodbanks in partnership with churches and communities to date.

Our Executive Chairman Chris Mould says:
‘The sheer volume of people who are turning to foodbanks because they can’t afford food is a wake-up call to the nation that we cannot ignore the hunger on our doorstep. Politicians across the political spectrum urgently need to recognise the real extent of UK food poverty and create fresh policies that better address its underlying causes. This is more important than ever as the impact of the biggest reforms to the welfare state since it began start to take effect. Since April 1st we have already seen increasing numbers of people in crisis being sent to foodbanks with nowhere else to go.’

He continues:

‘Last year The Trussell Trust estimated that our foodbanks would help 250,000 people in 2012-13, we’ve helped 100,000 more than that. 2012-13 was much tougher for people than many anticipated. Incomes are being squeezed to breaking point. We’re seeing people from all kinds of backgrounds turning to foodbanks: working people coming in on their lunch-breaks, mums who are going hungry to feed their children, people whose benefits have beendelayed and people who are struggling to find enough work. It’s shocking that people are going hungry in 21st century Britain.’

Only four per cent of people turned to foodbanks due to homelessness; 30% were referred due to benefit delay; 18% low income and 15% benefit changes (up from 11% in 2011-12). Other reasons included domestic violence, sickness, refused crisis loans, debt and unemployment. The majority of people turning to foodbanks were working age families.

Find out more…

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