350,000 people receive food bank help last year

Salcare exterior
Salcare exterior

Local food banks are to benefit from a share of £113,000 Derbyshire County Council (DCC) funding to help them cope with increased demand.

Seventeen of the county’s 21 food banks applied for funding and have been awarded grants to help them feed more people by buying fridges and storage boxes, covering additional volunteer and vehicle running costs and paying for training, administration and rent.

The Salcare Furniture Project, in Heanor, receives £7,000, St Andrew’s Food Bank, in Langley Mill, gets £3,000 and South Normanton Food Bank will receive £9,500.

According to figures released by the UK’s biggest food bank network The Trussell Trust the number of people relying on food banks to survive has tripled over the last year. Last year Clay Cross Foodbank fed 2,557 residents compared with 944 in 2012 – an increase of 171 per cent.

DCC cabinet member for health and communities councillor Dave Allen said: “The rising cost of living, static incomes, changes to benefits and unemployment have meant increasing numbers of people in the UK have hit a crisis that forces them to go hungry.

“It’s been termed a public health emergency by leading medical experts and we feel it is the right thing to do to support working people on low incomes and those in the most severe financial need who are struggling to put food on the table. Lack of proper nutrition not only has a huge impact on people’s physical and mental health but also on the health and local authority support services they increasingly have to rely on if the situation is not addressed.”

“We hope this round of grant funding goes a little way to start supporting food banks that are facing increasing pressure to feed more people.”

Food banks who successfully applied for funding will start to receive their grants from next month.

Andrew Fellows of Clay Cross Foodbank said: “We really appreciate the council’s grant offer and the money will be used wisely to meet the growing need in our community and help us to reach those who are falling through our net.”

As part of its continuing work to support food banks the council will also be supporting appeals to encourage local people to volunteer and to donate food and arranging for some of its libraries and other council buildings to act as food collection points.

Food banks provide a minimum of three days’ emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis. To receive a food parcel, residents need to be referred to a food bank from children’s centres, GPs, schools, the probation service, Derbyshire police or a range of other advice agencies.

Almost 350,000 people in the UK received at least three days emergency food from Trussell

Trust food banks last year - nearly 100,000 more than anticipated and close to three times the number helped in 2012.

There are currently 21 food banks in Derbyshire which are run by charities and non-profit organisations and mainly run by volunteers – and more are starting up all the time.

Most of the food is donated by local people or provided by UK charity FareShare which distributes surplus ‘fit for purpose’ products from the food and drink industry, including major supermarkets, to community organisations.

Derbyshire’s food banks are in Ashbourne, Belper, Bolsover, Buxton, Chesterfield, Clay Cross, Gamesley, Glossop, Heanor, Holmewood, Ilkeston, Killamarsh, Langley Mill, Littlemoor, Long Eaton, Matlock, New Mills, Ripley, South Normanton and Swadlincote.

For local food bank contact details visit www.advicederbyshire.org

The following food banks will receive county council funding:

* Ashbourne Foodbank: £8,000

* The Basic Idea: Hope for Belper: £2,257

* Freedom Foodbank, Bolsover: £7,500

* Nightstop Foodbank, Buxton: £4,000

* Making a Difference Food Bank, Chesterfield: £573

* The Gates Foodbank, Chesterfield: £9,500

* Clay Cross Foodbank: £10,000

* Bare Necessities Food Bank, Gamesley: £4,000

* Salcare Furniture Project, Heanor: £7,000

* Living Hope Foodbank, Holmewood: £9,500

* Arena Church, Ilkeston: £9,500

* New Hope Community Foodbank, Killamarsh: £9,500

* St Andrew’s Food Bank, Langley Mill: £3,000

* Long Eaton and Sawley Foodbank, Long Eaton: £8,635

* Jigsaw Foodbank, Matlock: £9,500

* New Mills Helping Hands Food Bank: £1,000

* South Normanton Food Bank: £9,500

For media enquiries please contact the press office on 01629 538205.