1870 food bank parcels provided for children in Somerset West and Taunton during first six months of the pandemic
New figures released by Taunton Foodbank reveal 4051 emergency food parcels were provided to people between April and September of this year – a shocking 52% increase on the same period in 2019. 1870 of these went to children.
The food bank believes the increase in local people needing its support is due to people’s finances being hit by the impact of coronavirus and an increase in redundancies and insecure work.
Sue Weightman, Foodbank Manager of Taunton Foodbank said:
“It’s a real concern that in the first six months of the pandemic we’ve provided 4051 emergency supplies to local people. And these figures don’t cover winter, which is usually our busiest time of year.
“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. All of us should have enough money for essentials. That’s why we’re working with the Trussell Trust to push for changes that will begin a Hunger Free Future.
Thanks to the way in which local people have continued to support Taunton Food bank throughout the pandemic we are heading into winter with good supplies of essential food. We recognise that some people may wish to contribute the extras which can make Christmas special or perhaps would prefer to make a financial contribution to help us make targeted purchases and we can confirm that this will be welcome. Our full warehouse is a testament to the generosity of the people of Somerset West and Taunton and we are so grateful for this ongoing support.”
The food bank is part of the Trussell Trust’s network, which has recently reported more than 1.2 million emergency food parcels were given to people struggling to afford essentials between 1st April and 30th September 2020, making it the busiest ever half-year period for food banks; over 470,000 of these parcels went to children.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, explains:
“Throughout 2020, communities across the country have stepped in to provide vital support to people left without enough money. Volunteers in food banks have been working hard under extremely difficult circumstances to make sure support is there for people struggling to afford essentials. But it’s not right that any of us are forced to a charity for food, at any time of year.
“This pandemic has shown the unexpected can hit us suddenly, with devastating consequences for people’s lives. But it’s also shown we can make huge changes to the way we live and look after each other. It’s shown that when we come together to push for change, the government responds. Together, we can build a hunger free future.”