Number using Rugby Foodbank almost doubles

Volunteers at Rugby Foodbank
Volunteers at Rugby Foodbank

Life is getting worse for Rugby’s poorest people, claims the Trussell Trust after releasing figures showing that use of its food bank in the town has nearly doubled in a year.

In 2013-14, 2,914 people including 1,065 children received three days’ emergency food from its Rugby food bank. This compares to 1,481 in 2012-13, representing an increase of 96 per cent.

The Trussell Trust, a Christian charity that runs the UK’s largest food bank network, said over 900,000 people used its food banks nationwide in 2013-14, compared to 346,992 in 2012-13.

The Trust blamed static incomes, rising living costs, low pay and underemployment for much of the increased demand. Over half of referrals were a result of benefit delays or changes.

Diana Mansell, chair of the Trust’s Rugby food bank, said: “We’re seeing growing numbers turning to us for help, which shouldn’t be happening in the seventh-richest country in the world.

“But the reality is that life is very difficult for people on low incomes at the moment, and increasing numbers are struggling to make ends meet and are hitting a crisis where they cannot afford food.

“We don’t think anyone should have to go hungry, which is why we’re so grateful for the incredible generosity of local people in donating food, funds and their time.”

Last year the Rugby public donated 36 tonnes of food to the food bank, which also provides essentials like toiletries and hygiene products to families. It is run by a team of 80 volunteers while schools, businesses and faith groups also provide vital support.

Rugby’s MP Mark Pawsey said: “I appreciate that many families are facing tough times and it is highly undesirable that anybody should be in a position where they feel the need to visit a food bank.

“To support families and tackle poverty, this government has taken 2.7 million people out of tax and cut income tax for 25 million people, giving them on average £700 extra a year.”