Others are hit as their benefits are stopped while the Department of Work and Pensions makes changes to the Universal Credit System.
Uckfield Foodbank says it is seeing a “dramatic increase” in the number of people accesing its service.
In the first six months of this year 78 people a month, on average, received food boxes. This compares to 53 people a month in the previous six months.
In June 91 people – 52 adults and 39 children – received help. In July 92 people – 53 adults and 39 children – received food.
New foodbank project manager Trish Lavine said: “One of the main reasons for this increase is households on low incomes who are struggling due to rising food prices.
“People also need help from the foodbank due, in part, to the Department of work and Pensions changing over to the Universal Credit System. Clients are seeing their benefits stopped whilst this process takes place.”
One client recently wrote to thank the foodbank saying: “Until you actually have no money you cannot ever understand the value of the foodbank. Without it I would have no breakfast or lunch and a minimum tea.
“The staff are amazing – unobtrusive but will sit and talk to you if you need it. Well done to everyone who works there – I cann’t praise them enough.”
Trish says the foodbank is grateful to individuals in the community who have donated 5,066kg of food in the first six months of 2017.
But because of the high numbers of people now accessing the foodbank it is running short of items such as instant coffee, long-life fruit juice, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, potatoes and tomatoes, sponge and rice puddings, sugar and custard.
Trish added that without the generosity of the community and the work of the foodbank and its 62 volunteers, 467 people, 173 of them children, would have gone hungry in the first half of the year.”
Read more about the work of the foodbank at uckfield.foodbank.org.uk, or on their Facebook page at Facebook.com/uckfieldfoodbank.
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