Cost of living crisis: Food bank use rises 12 percent in last year with more than 7,000 parcels given out in Barnsley

Food bank use has risen by 12 per cent in Barnsley according to an organisation which runs a network of foodbanks across the UK.

Monday, 23rd May 2022, 1:37 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2022, 2:12 pm

Statistics from the Trussell Trust show that 7,265 food parcels were given out in Barnsley between April 2021 and March 2022 – 2,496 of which were given to children.

This is the second highest in South Yorkshire, behind Sheffield (60,142) and ahead of Doncaster (4,089) and Rotherham (3,830).

In 2021/22, 6,464 parcels were given out – a rise of 12 per cent.

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The Trussell Trust say that the figures cannot be used to fully explain the scale of food bank use across the UK, as they only relate to food banks in their network

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The Trussell Trust say that the figures cannot be used to fully explain the scale of food bank use across the UK, as they only relate to food banks in their network and not to the hundreds of independent food aid providers and community-groups also providing support.

A total of 2.1 million emergency food parcels were given to people in crisis by food banks in the Trussell Trust network in the financial year 2021/22.

Emma Revie, the chief executive of the Trussell Trust called on the government to bring benefits in line with the true cost of living.

Emma said: “As an urgent first step benefits should be increased by at least seven per cent, keeping pace with increases in the cost of living. In the longer term, we need the government to introduce a commitment in the benefits system to ensure that everyone has enough money in their pockets to be prevented from falling into destitution.”

Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central, is set to lead a debate this week on measures to ease the cost-of-living crisis.

Dan Jarvis said: “The soaring numbers of foodbank referrals in Barnsley is a shameful indictment of life in Conservative Britain.

“Local families are being battered by a cost-of-living crisis made in Downing Street and the Government are asleep at the wheel.

“I will always stand up for hard-pressed residents both locally and in Parliament and will be leading a debate next week on measures to ease the cost-of-living crisis for workers.”

Councillor Jenny Platts, cabinet spokesperson for communities at Barnsley Council said: “The Barnsley Foodbank Partnership provides emergency food to households experiencing food crisis in our borough.

“While the service has seen an increase in demand since April 2021, we would like to reassure those in need that it has sufficient capacity to continue providing support, both now and in the future.

“There’s a range of support available in Barnsley if you’re struggling to meet the cost of food, including the food bank, free school meals and holiday clubs. You can find more information about local services helping households manage the cost of living increases and lead healthy, happy lives at our more money in your pocket webpage at barnsley.gov.uk/more-money-in-your-pocket.

Stephanie Peacock, MP for Barnsley East said the number of food parcels given out is “shocking”.

“I visited the local food bank in Wombwell a few weeks ago and I know the vital work they do providing meals to those in need,” Stephanie added.

“They told me the biggest reason people come to them is low income, but working people should not have to rely on crisis support to feed their families.”