Eastbourne Borough Council has announced a £250,000 ‘cost of living emergency grant’ scheme that will deliver an immediate payment of £20,000 to Eastbourne Foodbank, with one thousand local people benefitting.  The emergency grant will enable Eastbourne Foodbank to directly support even more people who have fallen into food and fuel poverty.

The first phase of payments will immediately aid Eastbourne Foodbank and other local organisations that support people who are struggling with the soaring cost of living. Subsequent phases will support local people to manage further increases in their energy bills in the autumn.

With the Trussell Trust confirming that Eastbourne Foodbank is the busiest in the UK, Eastbourne Borough Council responded last week by becoming the first council in the UK to declare a ‘cost of living emergency’.

Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said: “Last week I listened to an impassioned speech by Howard Wardle, Chief Executive of Eastbourne Foodbank, who explained that many local people require urgent additional support right now.

“There has been a massive 78% increase in people using the foodbank in just the first three months of 2022 and those figures will spiral even further as the cost of living crisis bites deeper and deeper into family budgets.

“In response we declared a cost of living emergency in Eastbourne and thanks to over achieved savings targets during the past 12 months, we have now also committed £250,000 to helping local residents in crisis.”

Eastbourne Foodbank will receive £20,000 within the week to help ensure local people have the supplies they need to eat and live with dignity.

Howard Wardle, Chief Executive of Eastbourne Foodbank, said: “With the cost of living taking a hold on family finances, Eastbourne Foodbank is currently facing extreme food shortages as the demand for assistance increases.  

“We are extremely grateful for the support of Eastbourne Borough Council in providing a first grant of £20,000 to enable us to purchase food stock to meet the demand, which has this year seen a 78% increase compared to last year.

“The grant will enable us to provide three days food to approximately 1,000 people. Later this year the increases in gas and electricity prices will further increase pressure on our services.”