The Benefit System, THE GRAPEVINE! news, comment & a bit of gossip

– 20% rise in demands for food handouts,


20% rise in demands for food handouts,


FareShare, an organisation which redirects food trade surpluses to those in need has said that there has been a sharp rise in demand for handouts from those hit by unemployment and benefit changes. FareShare is now feeding 35,000 people a day, up from 29,000 a day last year.

The number of charities that have signed up to receive food from FareShare, which operates from 17 sites across the UK, has also risen in the past 12 months, from 600 to 700. More than 40% of those charities are recording increases in demand for their feeding services of up to 50%. This indicates a serious growth in the number of people without the resources to feed themselves properly.

“People in our communities are going to bed hungry because they can’t afford to feed themselves,” said Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare.

Jeremy Rayn, manager of the food back network describes how it is not the homeless who are receiving food handounts. He says, “We’re seeing a big increase in what you could call, for want of a better phrase, normal working people, those who have lost their jobs or seen their own businesses go under….the big problem is that the welfare state is not reacting fast enough to need.” He points to the “terrible lag” between an application for benefits being accepted and the money being received.

Martin Caraher, professor of food policy at City University London, says recent research confirms what FareShare are seeing. “There are around 13 million people in Britain living in poverty, which is defined as earnings of 60% of the national average. Of those, four million are suffering nutritionally related consequences. And the big new group who are really suffering are working families.”

Website: Guardian

Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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