Cost of living: councillor calls to end Sheffield food banks by 2032 as use rockets

A councillor called on the local authority to end food banks in Sheffield within the next 10 years as it approved an action plan for the cost of living crisis.

Councillor Angela Argenzio made the suggestion during the latest meeting of the strategy and resources committee in which Sheffield Council agreed an action plan to deal with the cost of living crisis. READ MORE: Cost of living crisis: Sheffield Council increases fees for burials, cremations and memorials

During discussions, Coun Argenzio said: “[As a result of the crisis] what we are going to have is a situation where people who have not used food banks or haven’t needed help before will need help which is heartbreaking.

“We need to ensure that where our communication has not been up to the standards that the public expects that we are really clear about where to go and what to do.”

File photo dated 17/01/18 of goods at a food bank. The need for food banks increases in areas where Universal Credit has been in operation the longest, new research suggests.

She added: “I think we should have something in our corporate plan about not having food banks in Sheffield within 10 years.

“So that could be an aim where nobody needs a food bank in Sheffield.”

Councillor Douglas Johnson backed Coun Argenzio’s suggestion, adding: “I echo Angela’s comments about wanting to get rid of food banks, we need to do what we can to stop people getting into crisis.”

Use of food banks rockets

Sheffield councillor Angela Argenzio

The Trussell Trust, a charity which campaigns to end food bank use, said the number of packages food banks in its network alone gave out to people in Sheffield rocketed from 9,617 in the 2014/15 financial year to 60,142 in the latest financial year.

Of the packages the network handed out to Sheffielders in 2021/22, almost 23,000 were for children and more than 37,200 were for adults.

Where to find support

For information on Sheffield’s food banks, visit: http://www.sheffieldfoodbank.org.uk/food-bank-list/