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Hundreds of children relying on food bank

Malvern Editorial 23rd Apr, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

MORE than 600 children are now being given emergency food supplies in Malvern, figures have revealed.

The alarming statistic has emerged as trustees at Malvern Hills Foodbank have reviewed its first full year of operation.

In total 1,476 people in the town received emergency supplies which provide enough food for three days. Out of those 609 were children.

The service which is now based at Spring Lane, received 588 referrals from more than 20 agencies in the last 12 months which provide information on how many people and dependents there are per household and how many food parcels are needed.

The town’s food bank has become a much valued service with people donating more than 15 tonnes of goods with more than 100 people volunteering for the charity during the last year.

Chris Bray, chair of trustees at Malvern Hills Foodbank, said: “In this our first year of operation we have seen growing numbers turning to our food bank for help, which shouldn’t be happening in the seventh richest country in the world.

“But the reality is that life in the UK is very difficult for people on low incomes. Increasing numbers are struggling to make ends meet and can hit a crisis where they cannot afford food.

“We don’t think anyone should have to go hungry, which is why we are so grateful for the incredible generosity of local people in donating food, funds and time to help stop local hunger.”

Further afield demand for food banks has dramatically increased in recent years.

During the last 12 months the branches in the West Midlands handed out food to 93,461 people – more than double the amount of the previous year.

Nationally the number of people requiring help from food banks is close to one million – nearly 15 times more than the 61,468 people who benefited in 2010 to 2011.

Chris Mould, chairman of the Trussell Trust which is the parent organisation of more than 400 food banks in the UK, added: “It is shocking that we’re seeing rising numbers of people who need to turn to food banks in 21st century Britain.

“But perhaps most worrying of all is that Trussell Trust food bank figures are just the tip of the iceberg of UK food poverty, it doesn’t include those helped by other emergency food providers, those living in towns where there is no food bank, people who are too ashamed to seek help or the large number of people who are only just coping by eating less and buying cheap food.

“That’s why urgent action needs to be taken to stop UK hunger.”

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