MORE than 1,600 residents have turned to the town’s foodbank in the last year, it has been revealed.
A total of 1,657 people relied on The Trussell Trust’s three-day emergency pack in the past 12 months, which is a nine per cent increase on this time last year, which stood at 1,513.
It means one in 70 of the Malvern Hills district population, 748 children and 909 adults, have needed crisis food.
Benefit delays was the biggest reason why residents were referred to the charity, with low income and benefit change following closely behind.
A total of 22 tonnes of food and non-food items were donated by residents to the foodbank last year and more than 70 people volunteered at the Spring Court site and at supermarket collections.
Schools, businesses and faith groups also provided vital support.
Chris Bray, chair of Malvern Hills Foodbank, said: “The latest figures released show an overall increase over the last 12 months, which is not predicted to fall in the near future, due to a number of factors including the possible implementation of the Universal Credit System.
“It must be emphasised that clients only received food parcels when presenting a voucher, issued by one of our registered referral agencies, to the foodbank or to one of our other centres outside our opening hours.
“I would like to thank all those who have generously donated food items and financial gifts to our foodbank here in Malvern over the last 12 months.
“My thanks also go to our dedicated team of volunteers who have given their time, skills and experience to ensure the smooth running of the foodbank, in addition to the important role of ‘signposting’ clients to the many groups and organisations that provide such excellent help to our community in a variety of ways.”
Nationally, in the last year the Trussell Trust provided emergency food to over 1,000,000 people – more than in any other year.
Adrian Curtis, Trussell Trust UK foodbank director, added: “Despite welcome signs of economic recovery, hunger continues to affect significant numbers of men, women and children in the UK today.
“It is difficult to be sure of the full extent of the problem as Trussell trust figures don’t include people who are helped by other food charities or those who feel too ashamed to seek help.”