Sheffield food bank at breaking point, as more people need support to live
A massive increase in the number of people turning to a Sheffield food bank for help because they can’t make ends meet, has put it under pressure.
The food bank run by the Parson Cross Initiative, headed by ‘pioneer minister’ Nick Waterfield, has struggled increasingly since Universal Credit became operational.
The project operates through voluntary donations, of both food and money. But this year, said Mr Waterfield, they have had to part-fund themselves to keep shelves stocked.Before Universal Credit kicked in, the spend from September to Decemb er, 2018, was an average £379 per month.
Following the new system roll out, from March to June this year, they spent an average £652.
There’s a whole range of people affected by the new system, and whether it’s waiting for money to come through or other circumstances….people can’t cope,” the minister said.
“It’s not sustainable and it feels like nobody is listening to how people on the streets are affected. The powers-that-be seem obsessed with flagship issues such as Brexit while the plight of ordinary people who can’t buy a tin of beans goes unnoticed.
“I spoke to a woman who had worked for the NHS for 40 years then retired due to ill health. She isn’t able to support herself. People want to be independent but there are all kinds of reasons why they struggle.
“Currently even people in full time work can find it hard to manage.
“It puts it into perspective when I say that in the whole of 2011 we had 88 people needing support. Now it’s 150 a week.
“We are near breaking point.”
Parson Cross Forum is appealing for donations that can be dropped off from Monday to Friday, 9am to 2pm. I tems such as tinned meats and vegetables, pasta, rice, tea, sugar, coffee, dried milk and toiletries are ideal.