Over 3,800 foodbank parcels handed out in Barnsley in one year

Foodbank volunteers, from left. Michelle Varley, Blake Hague and Margaret Moore.

Foodbank volunteers, from left. Michelle Varley, Blake Hague and Margaret Moore.

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Almost 3,800 food parcels were handed out to families struggling to make ends meet in Barnsley last year.

New figures from the Barnsley Foodbank Partnership show that between October 2013 and September 2014 just under 28 tonnes of food was handed out across the town.

Michael Dugher

Michael Dugher

Mr Dugher, who represents Barnsley East for Labour, said the top reasons for referrals to foodbanks in the town were issues with benefits, including delays, low income and debt.

He is now calling on ministers to take action and tackle the increasing use of foodbanks in Barnsley.

“The use of foodbanks in Barnsley and across the country has risen at a discerning rate. In the last year the Barnsley Foodbank Partnership handed out just under 23 tonnes of food,” he said.

“Nationwide there has been a 38 per cent increase in the number of people seeking food aid from the Trussell Trust’s 420 food banks over the last six months. 492,641 people have sought food aid in that time - 176,565 of them are children.

Foodbank volunteers, from left. Michelle Varley, Blake Hague and Margaret Moore.

Foodbank volunteers, from left. Michelle Varley, Blake Hague and Margaret Moore.

“It is shocking that so much of the ever increasing need for food aid we see is primarily caused by the actions of the Department for Work and Pensions.

“Yet ministers have done nothing to tackle the benefit delays and changes which are causing so much of the problem.”

Most of the food handed out by foodbanks is donated by schools, churches, businesses, individuals and supermarket collections.

There are seven foodbank centres in the town, where items are packaged into parcels.

Visit www.barnsley.foodbank.org.uk

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