Huge rise in families helped by Warminster Foodbank

This Is Wiltshire: Volunteers Olga Douglas, Mo Cheesman, Margaret Manning and Kate Skillmar at the Warminster Foodbank Volunteers Olga Douglas, Mo Cheesman, Margaret Manning and Kate Skillmar at the Warminster Foodbank

Warminster Foodbank has seen a huge rise in the number of people needing its help.

In the year leading up to the end of March, it saw a 71 per cent rise in children and an 82 per cent in adults needing food hand-outs to stave off hunger.

The charity, started as a community project by Warminster Churches Together, also covers Westbury and Frome, and provided food for 1,015 children and 1,799 adults, compared to 594 children and 998 adults the previous year.

The main reasons given by those seeking help are delays to benefit payments and the recent changes in the benefits system but there was also a 406 per cent rise in individuals and families giving low income as the reason for turning to the charity.

Manager Margaret MacDonald said: “Benefit payment delay, an initial claim or reporting a change of circumstances, may result in benefits being stopped for eight weeks or longer – pushing families and individuals into crisis with literally no money for food.”

Jean Colgrave, a Foodbank trustee, said: “We’ve had a lot of support from the community and a number of supermarkets who have helped us by providing donation points, places where local people can leave food for us to pick up.”

Those in need are referred to the Foodbank by health, care and charity professionals, who issue vouchers that can be exchanged for a minimum of three days food. This typically includes rice, pasta, tinned fruit and soups.

A former client of the charity, who asked not to be named, said: “I was overwhelmed by how kind they were at supporting us when I had nothing to eat. My partner lost his job and there was a delay in benefit payments.”

She is no longer in crisis and now brings in donations.

To make a donation, visit www.warminster.foodbank.org.uk

Comments (12)

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6:11pm Mon 26 May 14

Mrs Donnyfly says...

Is it really a rise in people genuinely needing help, or a rise in people grabbing an opportunity to get something for nothing?
Is it really a rise in people genuinely needing help, or a rise in people grabbing an opportunity to get something for nothing? Mrs Donnyfly
  • Score: 15

2:16am Tue 27 May 14

beetawix says...

so we now have a government that is prepared to allow starvation of benefit claimants for up to 8 weeks in the hope that someone else may feed them.
so we now have a government that is prepared to allow starvation of benefit claimants for up to 8 weeks in the hope that someone else may feed them. beetawix
  • Score: -10

8:22am Tue 27 May 14

sporty2 says...

Mrs Donnyfly wrote:
Is it really a rise in people genuinely needing help, or a rise in people grabbing an opportunity to get something for nothing?
I am all for food banks for the genuinely needy, but like you think how many actually need to go. If they stopped the smoking, drinking and having all the latest gadgets they would probably cope a bit better. We were brought up that if you couldn't afford it you didn't have it until you had saved for it. It may sound harsh and I wouldn't want to see a child go hungry but some parents think its their right to have everything without working for it, my parents would've gone without so that we were fed and clothed. I'm all for helping people who find themselves in dire straights through no fault of their own if they've lost their job etc.
[quote][p][bold]Mrs Donnyfly[/bold] wrote: Is it really a rise in people genuinely needing help, or a rise in people grabbing an opportunity to get something for nothing?[/p][/quote]I am all for food banks for the genuinely needy, but like you think how many actually need to go. If they stopped the smoking, drinking and having all the latest gadgets they would probably cope a bit better. We were brought up that if you couldn't afford it you didn't have it until you had saved for it. It may sound harsh and I wouldn't want to see a child go hungry but some parents think its their right to have everything without working for it, my parents would've gone without so that we were fed and clothed. I'm all for helping people who find themselves in dire straights through no fault of their own if they've lost their job etc. sporty2
  • Score: 12

8:12pm Tue 27 May 14

melkshamwizard says...

sporty2 wrote:
Mrs Donnyfly wrote:
Is it really a rise in people genuinely needing help, or a rise in people grabbing an opportunity to get something for nothing?
I am all for food banks for the genuinely needy, but like you think how many actually need to go. If they stopped the smoking, drinking and having all the latest gadgets they would probably cope a bit better. We were brought up that if you couldn't afford it you didn't have it until you had saved for it. It may sound harsh and I wouldn't want to see a child go hungry but some parents think its their right to have everything without working for it, my parents would've gone without so that we were fed and clothed. I'm all for helping people who find themselves in dire straights through no fault of their own if they've lost their job etc.
got to agree with you ,computers mobile phones ,bet the kids have got them all,possessions seem to come first.as long as they keep getting things for free they will never improve ,
[quote][p][bold]sporty2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mrs Donnyfly[/bold] wrote: Is it really a rise in people genuinely needing help, or a rise in people grabbing an opportunity to get something for nothing?[/p][/quote]I am all for food banks for the genuinely needy, but like you think how many actually need to go. If they stopped the smoking, drinking and having all the latest gadgets they would probably cope a bit better. We were brought up that if you couldn't afford it you didn't have it until you had saved for it. It may sound harsh and I wouldn't want to see a child go hungry but some parents think its their right to have everything without working for it, my parents would've gone without so that we were fed and clothed. I'm all for helping people who find themselves in dire straights through no fault of their own if they've lost their job etc.[/p][/quote]got to agree with you ,computers mobile phones ,bet the kids have got them all,possessions seem to come first.as long as they keep getting things for free they will never improve , melkshamwizard
  • Score: 3

6:30am Wed 28 May 14

politepanda says...

No genuinely poor families in Wiltshire, eh?
No genuinely poor families in Wiltshire, eh? politepanda
  • Score: -12

8:01am Wed 28 May 14

frankie007 says...

politepanda wrote:
No genuinely poor families in Wiltshire, eh?
You're probably right, the benefit system seems to work more than adequately for everybody I come across.

Most manage to go out, out 2 Saturdays a month, bottle of wine most nights, always got the latest iphone (God knows why, they're no match for a Samsung). They've either got huge pedigree hounds, or equally expensive handbag dogs. Interest free social loan pays for the summer holiday, another one pays for Christmas, and of course, they use the self perpetuating food banks as a useful supplement.
It's just like someone standing on a corner giving away £50 notes. It dosen't matter how iffy it seems at first, if he's there every day, sooner or later you're going to start grabbing a handful every time you go past whether you need it or not.
[quote][p][bold]politepanda[/bold] wrote: No genuinely poor families in Wiltshire, eh?[/p][/quote]You're probably right, the benefit system seems to work more than adequately for everybody I come across. Most manage to go out, out 2 Saturdays a month, bottle of wine most nights, always got the latest iphone (God knows why, they're no match for a Samsung). They've either got huge pedigree hounds, or equally expensive handbag dogs. Interest free social loan pays for the summer holiday, another one pays for Christmas, and of course, they use the self perpetuating food banks as a useful supplement. It's just like someone standing on a corner giving away £50 notes. It dosen't matter how iffy it seems at first, if he's there every day, sooner or later you're going to start grabbing a handful every time you go past whether you need it or not. frankie007
  • Score: 19

4:47pm Thu 29 May 14

politepanda says...

frankie007 wrote:
politepanda wrote:
No genuinely poor families in Wiltshire, eh?
You're probably right, the benefit system seems to work more than adequately for everybody I come across.

Most manage to go out, out 2 Saturdays a month, bottle of wine most nights, always got the latest iphone (God knows why, they're no match for a Samsung). They've either got huge pedigree hounds, or equally expensive handbag dogs. Interest free social loan pays for the summer holiday, another one pays for Christmas, and of course, they use the self perpetuating food banks as a useful supplement.
It's just like someone standing on a corner giving away £50 notes. It dosen't matter how iffy it seems at first, if he's there every day, sooner or later you're going to start grabbing a handful every time you go past whether you need it or not.
Why is it that everyone instantly assumes that the word "poor" refers to those on benefits?? Most on benefits are dealt with adequately.
I'm talking about those who work - who do their best but will NEVER make much more than minimum wage, and barely scrape by. Those who've been made redundant and lost their homes as well as their jobs and are struggling to get back on their feet. Those who go backward rapidly when faced with illness or an unforeseen financial problem because they have no savings and no-one to turn to for support.
THEY are the ones in need of the food banks.
The ones without Sky, the latest phones or designer gear.
NOT the 3rd generation benefit scroungers who expertly play the welfare system.
[quote][p][bold]frankie007[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]politepanda[/bold] wrote: No genuinely poor families in Wiltshire, eh?[/p][/quote]You're probably right, the benefit system seems to work more than adequately for everybody I come across. Most manage to go out, out 2 Saturdays a month, bottle of wine most nights, always got the latest iphone (God knows why, they're no match for a Samsung). They've either got huge pedigree hounds, or equally expensive handbag dogs. Interest free social loan pays for the summer holiday, another one pays for Christmas, and of course, they use the self perpetuating food banks as a useful supplement. It's just like someone standing on a corner giving away £50 notes. It dosen't matter how iffy it seems at first, if he's there every day, sooner or later you're going to start grabbing a handful every time you go past whether you need it or not.[/p][/quote]Why is it that everyone instantly assumes that the word "poor" refers to those on benefits?? Most on benefits are dealt with adequately. I'm talking about those who work - who do their best but will NEVER make much more than minimum wage, and barely scrape by. Those who've been made redundant and lost their homes as well as their jobs and are struggling to get back on their feet. Those who go backward rapidly when faced with illness or an unforeseen financial problem because they have no savings and no-one to turn to for support. THEY are the ones in need of the food banks. The ones without Sky, the latest phones or designer gear. NOT the 3rd generation benefit scroungers who expertly play the welfare system. politepanda
  • Score: 2

11:25am Sat 31 May 14

frankie007 says...

Where are these people you keep banging on about? Anyone working for not much more than minimum wage will be getting working tax credits, if they've got children they'll be getting child benefit & child tax credits. Everybody I know working on minimum wage is better off than they were/would have been if relying solely on benefits. OK, sometimes it might be marginal.

People who are made redundant usually get a pay off & their benefits sorted by the job center before they walk out the door. I've been bankrupted & lost everything. Yet I still know of nobody who actually NEEDED to use a food bank. Like I said, I know of several who just use them as a supplement. Of course, in order to use them they have to persuade somebody that they're poor in order to get referred, but who's going to say no to a desperate mum & her, allegedly, starving kids?
Where are these people you keep banging on about? Anyone working for not much more than minimum wage will be getting working tax credits, if they've got children they'll be getting child benefit & child tax credits. Everybody I know working on minimum wage is better off than they were/would have been if relying solely on benefits. OK, sometimes it might be marginal. People who are made redundant usually get a pay off & their benefits sorted by the job center before they walk out the door. I've been bankrupted & lost everything. Yet I still know of nobody who actually NEEDED to use a food bank. Like I said, I know of several who just use them as a supplement. Of course, in order to use them they have to persuade somebody that they're poor in order to get referred, but who's going to say no to a desperate mum & her, allegedly, starving kids? frankie007
  • Score: 12

10:35pm Sat 31 May 14

loosewoman says...

Let's clear up a few misconceptions about food banks, shall we? Firstly, you can't just turn up at one and demand free food. You have to be referred by the job centre, or the CAB, or a social worker, who knows that your circumstances truly are desperate. And you only get three bites of the cherry. Secondly, most of the people who use them are desperate because there's been a delay in paying benefits or a mix-up. These stories about people spending their money on booze and fags are just that - myths and stories, put about by the government and the media to divert blame away from where it truly lies - with themselves and their savage cuts to benefits. And of course it makes it much easier to do nothing about poverty if you blame poor people for their own plight. It's said many of us are no more than two or three pay packets away from destitution, and I hope that those callous people posting here never discover the hard way that you can be in desperate need of food in one of the richest countries in the world. It's attitudes like yours that have led to the disgraceful discovery of razor blades inserted in food bank donations, obviously with the deliberate intent to injure people who are already in despair. Absolutely appalling, and I feel ashamed of the vicious way that so many of us feel impelled to kick those who are already down.
Let's clear up a few misconceptions about food banks, shall we? Firstly, you can't just turn up at one and demand free food. You have to be referred by the job centre, or the CAB, or a social worker, who knows that your circumstances truly are desperate. And you only get three bites of the cherry. Secondly, most of the people who use them are desperate because there's been a delay in paying benefits or a mix-up. These stories about people spending their money on booze and fags are just that - myths and stories, put about by the government and the media to divert blame away from where it truly lies - with themselves and their savage cuts to benefits. And of course it makes it much easier to do nothing about poverty if you blame poor people for their own plight. It's said many of us are no more than two or three pay packets away from destitution, and I hope that those callous people posting here never discover the hard way that you can be in desperate need of food in one of the richest countries in the world. It's attitudes like yours that have led to the disgraceful discovery of razor blades inserted in food bank donations, obviously with the deliberate intent to injure people who are already in despair. Absolutely appalling, and I feel ashamed of the vicious way that so many of us feel impelled to kick those who are already down. loosewoman
  • Score: -9

8:03am Sun 1 Jun 14

frankie007 says...

Let's clear up a few misconceptions in your post.
Firstly, I don't believe anyone has suggested you can just turn up & get free food.
Job center, Social workers & CAB (the softest touch so I'm led to believe) are not the only people who can refer.
You only get 3 bites of the cherry at one food bank, but hey ho, there's another one not far away. It's a bit like the stupid rule that you can only buy 2 packs of Paracetamol in Boots, but you can buy another 2 in Superdrug, then get 3 for a pound in the pound shop.
If there's a delay or mix up in benefits, you can get a crisis loan. Oh hang on, you have to pay them back.
I can assure you that I'm not lying, nor am I hallucinating, nor have the images of the people I describe been planted in my mind by the government. They are real people.
It's even easier to blame the government for your plight than get up & do something yourself isn't it?
How can you be 3 wage packets from destitution when the absence of a wage packet puts you on the governments payroll?
Who on here is kicking anyone who's down? Even if I wanted to, I can't find anyone in the genuinely dire straits you describe. Dare I suggest that they are the myths & stories put about by ultra left wing socialists who just want more & more from the state.
Let's clear up a few misconceptions in your post. Firstly, I don't believe anyone has suggested you can just turn up & get free food. Job center, Social workers & CAB (the softest touch so I'm led to believe) are not the only people who can refer. You only get 3 bites of the cherry at one food bank, but hey ho, there's another one not far away. It's a bit like the stupid rule that you can only buy 2 packs of Paracetamol in Boots, but you can buy another 2 in Superdrug, then get 3 for a pound in the pound shop. If there's a delay or mix up in benefits, you can get a crisis loan. Oh hang on, you have to pay them back. I can assure you that I'm not lying, nor am I hallucinating, nor have the images of the people I describe been planted in my mind by the government. They are real people. It's even easier to blame the government for your plight than get up & do something yourself isn't it? How can you be 3 wage packets from destitution when the absence of a wage packet puts you on the governments payroll? Who on here is kicking anyone who's down? Even if I wanted to, I can't find anyone in the genuinely dire straits you describe. Dare I suggest that they are the myths & stories put about by ultra left wing socialists who just want more & more from the state. frankie007
  • Score: 8

8:17am Sun 1 Jun 14

frankie007 says...

By the way, no one's attitude creates nutters of the like that put razor blades in food. Probably ex animal liberation fruit cakes looking the next outlet for their frustrations.
By the way, no one's attitude creates nutters of the like that put razor blades in food. Probably ex animal liberation fruit cakes looking the next outlet for their frustrations. frankie007
  • Score: 10

7:55pm Sun 1 Jun 14

politepanda says...

frankie007 wrote:
Where are these people you keep banging on about? Anyone working for not much more than minimum wage will be getting working tax credits, if they've got children they'll be getting child benefit & child tax credits. Everybody I know working on minimum wage is better off than they were/would have been if relying solely on benefits. OK, sometimes it might be marginal.

People who are made redundant usually get a pay off & their benefits sorted by the job center before they walk out the door. I've been bankrupted & lost everything. Yet I still know of nobody who actually NEEDED to use a food bank. Like I said, I know of several who just use them as a supplement. Of course, in order to use them they have to persuade somebody that they're poor in order to get referred, but who's going to say no to a desperate mum & her, allegedly, starving kids?
Oh right - you have every faith that our welfare system supports those who need a helping hand?
OK - got my rose-coloured glasses on. Wow - what a difference - no-one needs help.
Doesn't take weeks to get your benefits sorted.
No-one ever makes a mistake and drops you off the tax credit list.
Just stroll into the job centre and all your worries are over - you get all the help you need, instantly.........
Cloud cuckoo land, some call it.
(No poor there, either.)
[quote][p][bold]frankie007[/bold] wrote: Where are these people you keep banging on about? Anyone working for not much more than minimum wage will be getting working tax credits, if they've got children they'll be getting child benefit & child tax credits. Everybody I know working on minimum wage is better off than they were/would have been if relying solely on benefits. OK, sometimes it might be marginal. People who are made redundant usually get a pay off & their benefits sorted by the job center before they walk out the door. I've been bankrupted & lost everything. Yet I still know of nobody who actually NEEDED to use a food bank. Like I said, I know of several who just use them as a supplement. Of course, in order to use them they have to persuade somebody that they're poor in order to get referred, but who's going to say no to a desperate mum & her, allegedly, starving kids?[/p][/quote]Oh right - you have every faith that our welfare system supports those who need a helping hand? OK - got my rose-coloured glasses on. Wow - what a difference - no-one needs help. Doesn't take weeks to get your benefits sorted. No-one ever makes a mistake and drops you off the tax credit list. Just stroll into the job centre and all your worries are over - you get all the help you need, instantly......... Cloud cuckoo land, some call it. (No poor there, either.) politepanda
  • Score: -10

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