New figures released by Eastbourne Foodbank today reveal 15,383 emergency food parcels were provided to people in crisis during the last year – 5,610 of these went to children.

Between April 2020 and March 2021, Eastbourne Foodbank have seen many people in need of support as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic hit people’s incomes and livelihoods.

The charity has warned their new figures do not include the number of people helped by new community organisations, independent food banks or the local authority, which have all been working during the pandemic in different ways to help people in the area.

While the total figures are almost identical to the same period in 2019/20, the food bank believes this is due to several things ;

a) There has been an increase in other emergency support from local charities and groups across the community during this period of pandemic

b)  Eastbourne Foodbank provided larger food parcels during the pandemic which lasted for longer so people were less likely to need a second referral.

Howard Wardle, CEO of Eastbourne Foodbank said: 

“It simply isn’t right that people in Eastbourne 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 Eastbourne & East Sussex 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.”

ENDS   

Contact: 

Eastbourne Foodbank can be reached on info@eastbourne.foodbank.org.uk or 01323 409925  / 07974 398863

Notes to Editor 

Eastbourne Food bank has been providing emergency food and support to local people since 2011 

Number of emergency food parcels distributed by Eastbourne Foodbank and by food banks in the Trussell Trust’s UK wide network in 2019/20 and 2020/21

 1st April 2020 – 31st March 20211st April 2020 – 31st March 2021
 To adultsTo childrenTotalTo adultsTo childrenTotal
UK1,183,672722,9531,906,6251,557,116980,0822,537,198
Eastbourne Foodbank10,1675,27315,4409,7735,61015,383

For more info, visit https://www.trusselltrust.org/hunger-free-future/ 

Eastbourne Foodbank is part of The Trussell Trust network.  For UK-wide Trussell Trust food bank statistics visit https://www.trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/end-year-stats/