New figures released by Lambeth Foodbanks reveal a staggering 127% increase in the number of people receiving emergency food parcels in the last year. 39,425 people in Lambeth received emergency food parcels in total and 15,020 of these were children.
Between April 2020 and March 2021, Lambeth Foodbanks has seen unprecedented numbers of people in need of support as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic hit people’s incomes and livelihoods.
The foodbanks believe the increase in local people needing its support is due to people’s finances being hit by the coronavirus and receiving payments that don’t cover the cost of essentials.
Foodbank client Melissa said:
“I have found this lockdown period very very distressing. I was working and paying all my bills on time but since losing my job in lockdown I haven’t been able to pay any bills. Life for me basically has stopped. I am grateful for the support of Foodbank as I wouldn’t have been able to eat”
The Norwood and Brixton, Waterloo, Clapham Park and Vauxhall Foodbanks have been working together in partnership since the first lockdown in April 2020, when it was necessary to switch to a delivery service. All four Foodbanks have temporarily relocated to the South London Warehouse in Streatham where food parcels have been delivered across Lambeth and beyond.
Rebekah, Foodbank Manager of Waterloo Foodbank said:
“It simply isn’t right that more and more people in Lambeth are struggling to put food on the table and have been forced to our doors. The pandemic has impacted huge numbers of people and we know our figures are just the tip of the iceberg as new community organisations, independent food banks and local authorities, have sprung up during the pandemic to support our community.
“We’re always blown away by the amount of support and generosity local people show in supporting our work – and during this difficult year, our vital work has only been possible because of that incredible support. Thank you so much. While our help continues to be needed, we’re dedicated to ensuring that people without enough money for food are able to access emergency support.
“But ultimately, we don’t think it’s right that any of us are forced to turn to any charity for emergency food. That’s why we’re calling on our candidates standing in local elections in May to commit to ending the need for our services in our community. Together we can build a Hunger Free Future.”
The food bank is part of the Trussell Trust’s network, which reports record levels of need in the last year, with more than 2.5 million emergency food parcels given to people struggling to afford essentials between April 2020 and March 2021; more than 980,000 of these parcels went to children.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said:
“No one should face the indignity of needing emergency food. Yet our network of food banks has given out record numbers of food parcels as more and more people struggle without enough money for the essentials. This is not right but we know we can build a better future. This pandemic has shown the unexpected can hit suddenly, but we know when we push for change, united by our desire for justice and compassion, the government has to listen and act.
“We are asking you, the public, to write to your local election candidates for a commitment to working to end the need for food banks. Together we can take action now to build a hunger free future.”