Cost of living crisis: Demand for foodbanks soaring in Sheffield and higher than any other area in country

Foodbanks in Sheffield are being used by people more than anywhere else in the UK, alarming figures have revealed.
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Stats revealed by the Trussell Trust charity indicates that the demand for food parcels is greater in the Steel City than any other local authority area.

Figures for the latest financial year ending March 2022 show that 60,142 parcels were handed out from the city's 18 Trussell Trust foodbanks, which also included 23,000 packages for children.

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The figure was higher than any of the other 305 local authorities nationwide with Birmingham coming in second with about 51, 000 and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne third with around 45, 000.

Demand for Trussell Trust foodbanks is soaring.Demand for Trussell Trust foodbanks is soaring.
Demand for Trussell Trust foodbanks is soaring.

Volunteers at the Trust’s foodbanks said the data indicates a severe food and poverty crisis and people grapple with rising energy bills.

One Sheffield volunteer, who gave his name as Marc, said ”The foodbank has already had to increase the number of volunteers over the last 12 months there had been a definite increase, during lockdown.

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“Over the last 12 months there's been a definite increase. Obviously during Covid things went absolutely off the scale.

Trussell Trust graphic of rise in parcel distribution.Trussell Trust graphic of rise in parcel distribution.
Trussell Trust graphic of rise in parcel distribution.

“We were serving about 30 families a week, up to about 370 people during Covid.”

It was at this point Marc’s foodbank joined forces with the Trussell Trust.

“We were joined with S6 – who are a Trussell Trust foodbank - to partner up with them, and supply us with food because we were running out of food,we were that busy.

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“At S6 a lot of the donations go to them and then they split it up between the partners.

“We’ll put in an order, and wherever they’ve got we’ll share it out between their satellites.”

Marc can see week to week any changes in demand for food parcels.

“The fuel prices that are coming, and there’s Christmas to pay for.

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"I just think a lot of families and single people without kids are going to struggle.

"The food bank has been there for several years now,but when Covid hit we had to get more staff and volunteers, about 10 in all.”

As someone who can see the effects of the current cost of living crisis Marc has definite thoughts on what the Government should do to help people who are in need.

He said: ”Fuel, petrol, I think they could easily sort that out, and bring the prices down and energy.

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“We’re supposed to have an energy price cap that just keeps on increasing. What's the point of having a price cap if you're just going to keep moving the goalposts? I don't see any point to it.”

“Without this, our work would simply not have been possible. Sadly, over the coming months we expect to see further increases in the need for food banks.”