More will need aid in future, says foodbank

This Is Wiltshire: From left, Alex Pollock and David Martridge of the Foodbank From left, Alex Pollock and David Martridge of the Foodbank

SWINDON Foodbank will carry on under increasing pressure as the Trussell Trust, which runs foodbanks in the UK, announced that it has fed almost a million people in the last year.

David Hartridge, the project manager at Swindon Foodbank, said almost half of the 6,000 served in Swindon over the last 12 months came forward as the result of benefit problems and recent changes to the system, and the trend was likely to continue.

“We have been in existence for eight years and have seen consistent growth year on year,” he said.

“If there was not the demand for emergency food there would be no reason for us to supply it.

“From the beginning of April last year to the beginning of March, we have fed more than 6,000 people, which is 16 per cent up year on year. Other foodbanks have had stronger growth but they have not been going nearly as long as us.

“The fact we are continuing to feed more people indicates quite clearly there is still a need.”

While a number of factors contribute to food poverty, David said only a quarter were the result of low pay.

“About 31 per cent of all the vouchers are as a result of benefit delays, and a further 17 per cent from benefit changes,” he said.

“That means nearly half of all vouchers are given out as a result of something going differently in the world of benefits.

“Another factor could be zero hours contracts. I spoke to one person in the town centre who had been on a 40-hour job but is now not getting any work because there is none available to him.

“That puts him out of the benefit system and we had to help him because he had not eaten that week. That is what we are here for.”

“I am in contact with agencies across the town and the opinion is that the situation locally is not likely to improve in the forseeable future,” he said.

“There are likely to be further cuts in benefits over the next 12 to 15 months and there will be an increase in people who are unable to pay essential bills or buy food.

“That is not opinion, that is the result of conversations with Swindon Council and Citizens Advice.

“We will continue to meet the demand that the clients put on us as long as the people of Swindon are able to provide us with the food.”

Chris Mould, the chairman of the Trussell Trust, said: “In the last year we’ve seen things get worse for many people on low incomes.

“A more thoughtful approach to the administration of the benefits regime and sanctions in particular, increasing the minimum wage, introducing the living wage and looking at other measures such as social tariffs for essentials like energy would help address the problem.”

Comments (10)

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8:27am Thu 17 Apr 14

house on the hill says...

Whilst I have no doubt there are people in real need I don't believe it is anywhere near as many as we are led to believe. I also find it very strange that this is happening at a time of massive rises in obesity, the 2 don't really go together.
For me one of the main problems is the changing levels of expectation in our society. There are not many left who remember rationing or the depression or wars and what people actually had to make do with. Today things like mobiles, smoking, drinking, sat tv etc are seen as essentials and things that people "deserve" rather than things to be earned and to be bought after the essentials are paid. For many their problems are purely bad budgeting and can be helped with a some financial education. Also having kids is an added responsibility not an excuse to demand more from the state which too many seem to think it is.

As I said at the start, yes of course there are those in need, but for too many their problems are self inflicted and there will be those who "play the game" to get help and food too. This has to be viewed from the bigger picture rather than just one statistic from the food banks.
Whilst I have no doubt there are people in real need I don't believe it is anywhere near as many as we are led to believe. I also find it very strange that this is happening at a time of massive rises in obesity, the 2 don't really go together. For me one of the main problems is the changing levels of expectation in our society. There are not many left who remember rationing or the depression or wars and what people actually had to make do with. Today things like mobiles, smoking, drinking, sat tv etc are seen as essentials and things that people "deserve" rather than things to be earned and to be bought after the essentials are paid. For many their problems are purely bad budgeting and can be helped with a some financial education. Also having kids is an added responsibility not an excuse to demand more from the state which too many seem to think it is. As I said at the start, yes of course there are those in need, but for too many their problems are self inflicted and there will be those who "play the game" to get help and food too. This has to be viewed from the bigger picture rather than just one statistic from the food banks. house on the hill
  • Score: 5

10:12am Thu 17 Apr 14

Hmmmf says...


A more thoughtful approach to the administration of the benefits regime and sanctions in particular, increasing the minimum wage, introducing the living wage and looking at other measures such as social tariffs for essentials like energy would help address the problem

This message brought to you by the Trussell Trust, living out god's love for the UK's poor since 2000.
[quote][p][bold][/bold] A more thoughtful approach to the administration of the benefits regime and sanctions in particular, increasing the minimum wage, introducing the living wage and looking at other measures such as social tariffs for essentials like energy would help address the problem[/quote] This message brought to you by the Trussell Trust, living out god's love for the UK's poor since 2000. Hmmmf
  • Score: 0

10:59am Thu 17 Apr 14

Robh says...

After the two programme's on BBC and channel 4 about benefit cuts it shows that there are many people who don't realise what being poor is. They sit there on there Ipad's and mobile phones with their flat screen TV's and say how the benefit cuts would affect their social life and complain that they cannot afford to feed their kids.

There are genuinely poor people in this country but are so many pretenders as well. If anything these programme's have put the UK Independence party to the fore especially as there was an excessive number of immigrants.
After the two programme's on BBC and channel 4 about benefit cuts it shows that there are many people who don't realise what being poor is. They sit there on there Ipad's and mobile phones with their flat screen TV's and say how the benefit cuts would affect their social life and complain that they cannot afford to feed their kids. There are genuinely poor people in this country but are so many pretenders as well. If anything these programme's have put the UK Independence party to the fore especially as there was an excessive number of immigrants. Robh
  • Score: 2

1:09pm Thu 17 Apr 14

back_to_reality says...

Of course, those with a vested interest in the foodbank industry will continue to shout about how much they are needed. However, most people now recognise that foodbanks are just another freebie that the shameless and the feckless can exploit.
Doesn't seem to worry the Advertiser though, who continue to promote it.
Of course, those with a vested interest in the foodbank industry will continue to shout about how much they are needed. However, most people now recognise that foodbanks are just another freebie that the shameless and the feckless can exploit. Doesn't seem to worry the Advertiser though, who continue to promote it. back_to_reality
  • Score: 3

1:31pm Thu 17 Apr 14

house on the hill says...

back_to_reality wrote:
Of course, those with a vested interest in the foodbank industry will continue to shout about how much they are needed. However, most people now recognise that foodbanks are just another freebie that the shameless and the feckless can exploit.
Doesn't seem to worry the Advertiser though, who continue to promote it.
Not sure they are actually promoting it, they are just relaying a story on the National News. And now the Church are getting involved and criticising, now there is a group really in touch with reality! So why isn't there wonderful "God" allowing this to happen if he (or she) is caring and loving and forgiving then or maybe with all their wealth they would like to chip in? No?

Agree with above, too much of the "expectation" culture that exists now and not enough backbone and responsibility for their own lives and families and lifestyle choices. And yes we are a complete soft touch when it comes to immigration, that has to stop it is neither sustainable or fair to those 47% who do contribute more in tax than they take back.
[quote][p][bold]back_to_reality[/bold] wrote: Of course, those with a vested interest in the foodbank industry will continue to shout about how much they are needed. However, most people now recognise that foodbanks are just another freebie that the shameless and the feckless can exploit. Doesn't seem to worry the Advertiser though, who continue to promote it.[/p][/quote]Not sure they are actually promoting it, they are just relaying a story on the National News. And now the Church are getting involved and criticising, now there is a group really in touch with reality! So why isn't there wonderful "God" allowing this to happen if he (or she) is caring and loving and forgiving then or maybe with all their wealth they would like to chip in? No? Agree with above, too much of the "expectation" culture that exists now and not enough backbone and responsibility for their own lives and families and lifestyle choices. And yes we are a complete soft touch when it comes to immigration, that has to stop it is neither sustainable or fair to those 47% who do contribute more in tax than they take back. house on the hill
  • Score: 1

1:47pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Alex English says...

While I understand that those who work at the Foodbanks have to protect their jobs, it is unfair of them to tell untruths to the public.

The truth?


A recent report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development actually found that food poverty has gone down under this government.

The proportion of those in the UK who said they are finding it difficult to afford food dropped from 9.8 per cent in 2007 to 8.1 per cent in 2012.
While I understand that those who work at the Foodbanks have to protect their jobs, it is unfair of them to tell untruths to the public. The truth? [quote] A recent report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development actually found that food poverty has gone down under this government. The proportion of those in the UK who said they are finding it difficult to afford food dropped from 9.8 per cent in 2007 to 8.1 per cent in 2012. [/quote] Alex English
  • Score: 3

1:50pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Alex English says...


“If there was not the demand for emergency food there would be no reason for us to supply it.


That's quite an interesting take on logic.

There will always be a demand for free food (and free anything else) because people will always hold their hand out if they can get something for nothing.

Even if everyone in Swindon was fed to the point of obesity there would always be some people claiming they're in dire need of free food.

The theory of supply and demand goes out the window when you're giving stuff away for free. Who wouldn't want free food so that they can spent their eating budget on other things?
[quote] “If there was not the demand for emergency food there would be no reason for us to supply it. [/quote] That's quite an interesting take on logic. There will always be a demand for free food (and free anything else) because people will always hold their hand out if they can get something for nothing. Even if everyone in Swindon was fed to the point of obesity there would always be some people claiming they're in dire need of free food. The theory of supply and demand goes out the window when you're giving stuff away for free. Who wouldn't want free food so that they can spent their eating budget on other things? Alex English
  • Score: 4

2:04pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Davey Gravey says...

Maybe some of you should watch the numerous TV programmes that highlight what the government have condem'd many people to. Not like the Tories aint done it before though is it?
Thankfully they'll soon be voted out.
Maybe some of you should watch the numerous TV programmes that highlight what the government have condem'd many people to. Not like the Tories aint done it before though is it? Thankfully they'll soon be voted out. Davey Gravey
  • Score: -4

5:57pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Alex English says...

Current government spending on welfare and benefits payments is at the highest level ever known.

Not really sure what else they can do?
Current government spending on welfare and benefits payments is at the highest level ever known. Not really sure what else they can do? Alex English
  • Score: 1

8:21pm Thu 17 Apr 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Maybe some of you should watch the numerous TV programmes that highlight what the government have condem'd many people to. Not like the Tories aint done it before though is it?
Thankfully they'll soon be voted out.
Perhaps you should watch the numerous programmes that highlight benefit fraud and abuses of the system.
Just today another fraudulent claimant gets let off.
http://www.swindonad
vertiser.co.uk/news/
11157017.__40k_benef
it_cheats_walk_free_
from_court/


As with all things, there are two sides to the story. If fraud was eliminated there would be more for those that genuinely need it. If those that no longer needed help gave up their "rights" to things like a council house for the greater good of society to those that were in greater need there would more to go around.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Maybe some of you should watch the numerous TV programmes that highlight what the government have condem'd many people to. Not like the Tories aint done it before though is it? Thankfully they'll soon be voted out.[/p][/quote]Perhaps you should watch the numerous programmes that highlight benefit fraud and abuses of the system. Just today another fraudulent claimant gets let off. http://www.swindonad vertiser.co.uk/news/ 11157017.__40k_benef it_cheats_walk_free_ from_court/ As with all things, there are two sides to the story. If fraud was eliminated there would be more for those that genuinely need it. If those that no longer needed help gave up their "rights" to things like a council house for the greater good of society to those that were in greater need there would more to go around. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 2

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