Sussex food banks use doubles

Andrew Trewin and Hannah Chisnall of FareShare

Andrew Trewin and Hannah Chisnall of FareShare

First published in News

The number of people in Sussex turning to food banks for help has doubled in the past year.

With record numbers of families turning to charities to simply put food on the table, campaigners have said more needs to be done to combat the massive increase in those unable to afford to feed themselves. Reporter Natalie Leal hears from those on the front line of food poverty.

A mother with a baby was forced to walk from Portslade to Brighton to ask for a handout to feed her young family.

She could not afford the bus fare to reach a food bank, never mind anything to eat.

Her case is just one of thousands happening every day in Sussex.

Every day more than 20 children in Sussex have to be given an emergency food parcel to stop them going hungry.

Charities across the county have reported an “alarming” rise in food poverty and there are concerns about how they will meet the increasing need for support.

In the last year almost 25,000 people were referred to Trussell Trust’s Sussex food banks, more than double the 12,000 hungry people fed the year before.

Nutritious meals They are now handing out emergency food parcels to 68 people every day with children accounting for over a third of those receiving food.

A scheme to provide nutritious meals to school-age children in Brighton and Hove is now having to open new branches to meet demand.

And Fareshare Brighton which delivers food to 65 Brighton and Hove charities and community projects have seen a 38% increase in the last 12 months and is now feeding 3,120 people every day, up from 2,250 in 2012.

It has seen the number of children and families receiving help through breakfast clubs, youth centres and community cafes double in the past year.

Chris Mould, chairman of the Trussell Trust, said: “In the last year we’ve seen things get worse, rather than better, for many people on low incomes. It’s been extremely tough for a lot of people, with parents not eating properly in order to feed their children and more people than ever experiencing seemingly unfair and harsh benefit sanctions.

“The figures don’t include those helped by other emergency food providers, those living in towns where there is no food bank, people who are too ashamed to seek help or the large numbers of people who are only just coping by eating less and buying cheap food.”

The centres provide three-day food supplies, with items such as cans of fruit and vegetables, pasta, rice and cereal. They also provide nappies and wet wipes for parents of young children.

Many reasons are thought to be behind the spike in referrals, such as low incomes, benefit changes and debt. Changes and delays to benefits payments accounted for half of all of the referrals made to the Trussell Trust between March 2013 – 2014.

Julie Denyer, manager of the Worthing Trussell Trust food bank, said: “We only get half the funds we need on a regular basis to reach out to all those local people in crisis.

“I am so grateful to all the people who support us either by helping to fund the project, giving food at the supermarket collections or volunteering for us. Without this help we would not be able to run.”

Soaring need Central and Sussex Citizens’ Advice Bureau issues food vouchers to those facing hardship.

In one case a father on jobseekers allowance found himself cut off from his benefits after he moved house.

Faced with no income at all during this time, he was referred to a food bank so he and his family could eat.

Other food charities have also expressed concerns over the soaring need for meals.

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of Fareshare, said: “The trends are alarming. We’re supporting more people and more charities than ever and while we hear that the economy is recovering, we know it will always be hardest for the most vulnerable in society to regularly access food.

“The charities we support are providing a lifeline to thousands of people every day. As more people turn to them for food, they’re turning to Fareshare for help.”

One of the charities supported by Fareshare Brighton is The Purple People Kitchen at Portslade Town Hall.

Councillor Penny Gilbey, who helped set up the new food bank in October 2013, said it was clear there was a real need to start one in the area.

Councillor Gilbey said: “We had one young girl with a baby who was walking all the way to Brighton with a pushchair to get to the nearest food bank before we opened.

“She didn’t even have the money for the bus fare.”

“It’s not just people who are not working. We see families who are in work but just don’t have enough money to buy food.

“They have to make the choice between heating and eating.”

The food bank, run entirely by volunteers, sees around 25 people every Friday when they open for two hours over lunchtime and the food runs out fast.

Fareshare Brighton also provides food to a project helping low income families who struggle to afford food during school holidays.

Comments (15)

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12:10pm Tue 22 Apr 14

tykemison says...

And cameron, osbourne and the rest of the unelected self-interest government will still tell us things are getting better (for the rich).Frustrating thing is, what can we do? Our once great and fair country is being systematically torn apart with the self appointed elite sucking the life out of decent, good people, I despair. Camerons a charlatan.
And cameron, osbourne and the rest of the unelected self-interest government will still tell us things are getting better (for the rich).Frustrating thing is, what can we do? Our once great and fair country is being systematically torn apart with the self appointed elite sucking the life out of decent, good people, I despair. Camerons a charlatan. tykemison
  • Score: 8

1:05pm Tue 22 Apr 14

fredaj says...

tykemison wrote:
And cameron, osbourne and the rest of the unelected self-interest government will still tell us things are getting better (for the rich).Frustrating thing is, what can we do? Our once great and fair country is being systematically torn apart with the self appointed elite sucking the life out of decent, good people, I despair. Camerons a charlatan.
Why don't you think our government is elected?

But anyway - things are quite clearly getting better and I have very personal experience of this where I work as we are taking people on.

Trouble is we only want skilled people and unfortunately it is the unskilled, and hence low paid, who are always going to be at the bottom of the pile and who will be the last to see pay rises and the increase in work availability.

Moral? Work hard at school, and if you didn't get some adult education, and then get yourself a skill. You will then pretty much always be able to find work and you will pretty much always do better than minimum wage.
[quote][p][bold]tykemison[/bold] wrote: And cameron, osbourne and the rest of the unelected self-interest government will still tell us things are getting better (for the rich).Frustrating thing is, what can we do? Our once great and fair country is being systematically torn apart with the self appointed elite sucking the life out of decent, good people, I despair. Camerons a charlatan.[/p][/quote]Why don't you think our government is elected? But anyway - things are quite clearly getting better and I have very personal experience of this where I work as we are taking people on. Trouble is we only want skilled people and unfortunately it is the unskilled, and hence low paid, who are always going to be at the bottom of the pile and who will be the last to see pay rises and the increase in work availability. Moral? Work hard at school, and if you didn't get some adult education, and then get yourself a skill. You will then pretty much always be able to find work and you will pretty much always do better than minimum wage. fredaj
  • Score: 4

1:21pm Tue 22 Apr 14

tykemison says...

Fredaj, I say they were not elected as the last general election did not have an overall majority and the lib dums sold their collective souls to the highest bidder (mr brown saw to that).Your righteousness in your post is naive at best, gain skills I hear you cry? Please tell, as anyone who has had the misfortune of being unemployed or been made redundant will inform you the department of work and pensions will bend over backwards to ensure people cannot improve themselves and just throw them (with the immoral threat of sanctions) onto farcical work programmes where competent people have to turn up to"workshops"where agency type people patronise you and waffle on about cv's.Maybe leave your comfort zone and talk to those less fortunate.
Fredaj, I say they were not elected as the last general election did not have an overall majority and the lib dums sold their collective souls to the highest bidder (mr brown saw to that).Your righteousness in your post is naive at best, gain skills I hear you cry? Please tell, as anyone who has had the misfortune of being unemployed or been made redundant will inform you the department of work and pensions will bend over backwards to ensure people cannot improve themselves and just throw them (with the immoral threat of sanctions) onto farcical work programmes where competent people have to turn up to"workshops"where agency type people patronise you and waffle on about cv's.Maybe leave your comfort zone and talk to those less fortunate. tykemison
  • Score: 4

2:27pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Goldenwight says...

Bit of a confusing headline there- I read the story wondering exactly what Food Banks were using doubles for...

Hardly a new story, just another piece of self generated publicity for the Trussell Trust- was reported by the BBC and national dailies last week.
Bit of a confusing headline there- I read the story wondering exactly what Food Banks were using doubles for... Hardly a new story, just another piece of self generated publicity for the Trussell Trust- was reported by the BBC and national dailies last week. Goldenwight
  • Score: 5

4:44pm Tue 22 Apr 14

menowhere says...

nothing wrong with walking its good for you.
nothing wrong with walking its good for you. menowhere
  • Score: -9

6:53pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Falmer Wizard says...

These foodbanks are doing a marvellous job for the neady, but how do they check that those who are drinking,gambling or buying drugs are not assisted?
These foodbanks are doing a marvellous job for the neady, but how do they check that those who are drinking,gambling or buying drugs are not assisted? Falmer Wizard
  • Score: -1

7:21pm Tue 22 Apr 14

RK_Brighton says...

Great jobs by the food banks in our city, including Brighton City Mission. Shocking that they are needed, but it's a good thing they do. We should really get behind them and support what they do.

The country is getting so divided. It's really easy to claim that things are getting better - they are for some people, but and increasing number are being left so far behind. It's disgusting the government want to hide these people to portray an improving society which helps them gain support.

Reality is the government is failing terribly. You aren't doing a good job u less you're helping everyone, especially those at the bottom.

We need to pull together to demand more for those without. Food banks sent the answer to supporting them, they just an emergency measure to fill the gap of a failing government with no policies to support those most in need, either from lack of ability or purposeful decisions to make life hard for these people.
Great jobs by the food banks in our city, including Brighton City Mission. Shocking that they are needed, but it's a good thing they do. We should really get behind them and support what they do. The country is getting so divided. It's really easy to claim that things are getting better - they are for some people, but and increasing number are being left so far behind. It's disgusting the government want to hide these people to portray an improving society which helps them gain support. Reality is the government is failing terribly. You aren't doing a good job u less you're helping everyone, especially those at the bottom. We need to pull together to demand more for those without. Food banks sent the answer to supporting them, they just an emergency measure to fill the gap of a failing government with no policies to support those most in need, either from lack of ability or purposeful decisions to make life hard for these people. RK_Brighton
  • Score: 8

7:32pm Tue 22 Apr 14

HJarrs says...

It is disgusting that we even need food banks in this day age. But, this is what happens when the wealthiest in the land blame the the poor for the county's ills when they are the problem. At the same time the wealthiest are lobbying to privatise all social provision to make money from the very people they despise.

Tonight children are going to bed hungry. If you voted Tory, you should hang your head in shame.
It is disgusting that we even need food banks in this day age. But, this is what happens when the wealthiest in the land blame the the poor for the county's ills when they are the problem. At the same time the wealthiest are lobbying to privatise all social provision to make money from the very people they despise. Tonight children are going to bed hungry. If you voted Tory, you should hang your head in shame. HJarrs
  • Score: 9

7:56pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

The lady had to walk to the food bank because she can't afford bus fares. Hang your head in shame if you voted Green and Tory......the same thing really.
The lady had to walk to the food bank because she can't afford bus fares. Hang your head in shame if you voted Green and Tory......the same thing really. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 4

9:40pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Idontbelieveit1948 says...

HJarrs wrote:
It is disgusting that we even need food banks in this day age. But, this is what happens when the wealthiest in the land blame the the poor for the county's ills when they are the problem. At the same time the wealthiest are lobbying to privatise all social provision to make money from the very people they despise.

Tonight children are going to bed hungry. If you voted Tory, you should hang your head in shame.
And if you voted Green I suspect you won't be bothering again, unless you go by the name of H Jarrs of course.
[quote][p][bold]HJarrs[/bold] wrote: It is disgusting that we even need food banks in this day age. But, this is what happens when the wealthiest in the land blame the the poor for the county's ills when they are the problem. At the same time the wealthiest are lobbying to privatise all social provision to make money from the very people they despise. Tonight children are going to bed hungry. If you voted Tory, you should hang your head in shame.[/p][/quote]And if you voted Green I suspect you won't be bothering again, unless you go by the name of H Jarrs of course. Idontbelieveit1948
  • Score: 0

10:31pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Max Ripple says...

Falmer Wizard wrote:
These foodbanks are doing a marvellous job for the neady, but how do they check that those who are drinking,gambling or buying drugs are not assisted?
They are not being abused as those that use them have to get a voucher from social services which confirms that they qualify and need the handout. You can't just walk in and say "Hello, can I have some free food".
[quote][p][bold]Falmer Wizard[/bold] wrote: These foodbanks are doing a marvellous job for the neady, but how do they check that those who are drinking,gambling or buying drugs are not assisted?[/p][/quote]They are not being abused as those that use them have to get a voucher from social services which confirms that they qualify and need the handout. You can't just walk in and say "Hello, can I have some free food". Max Ripple
  • Score: 1

2:18am Wed 23 Apr 14

Gribbet says...

Goldenwight wrote:
Bit of a confusing headline there- I read the story wondering exactly what Food Banks were using doubles for...

Hardly a new story, just another piece of self generated publicity for the Trussell Trust- was reported by the BBC and national dailies last week.
Yeah, I thought they were cloning people
[quote][p][bold]Goldenwight[/bold] wrote: Bit of a confusing headline there- I read the story wondering exactly what Food Banks were using doubles for... Hardly a new story, just another piece of self generated publicity for the Trussell Trust- was reported by the BBC and national dailies last week.[/p][/quote]Yeah, I thought they were cloning people Gribbet
  • Score: 0

6:17am Wed 23 Apr 14

fredaj says...

tykemison wrote:
Fredaj, I say they were not elected as the last general election did not have an overall majority and the lib dums sold their collective souls to the highest bidder (mr brown saw to that).Your righteousness in your post is naive at best, gain skills I hear you cry? Please tell, as anyone who has had the misfortune of being unemployed or been made redundant will inform you the department of work and pensions will bend over backwards to ensure people cannot improve themselves and just throw them (with the immoral threat of sanctions) onto farcical work programmes where competent people have to turn up to"workshops"wh
ere agency type people patronise you and waffle on about cv's.Maybe leave your comfort zone and talk to those less fortunate.
Governments in the UK rarely, if ever, have a majority of votes but that does not mean they are not elected.

People who have been made redundant (and I have been made redundant myself) who have skills will generally be able to get another job.

All people who have a skill will generally be able to get a job.

This is not patronising - this is the stark choice that every working age adult without debilitating disabilities in the UK has.

People without a skill will always be living a life where they juggle benefits and low paid work - and depending on how many children they have - figuring out whether to work or just stay at home to get the most cash into the household. And perhaps having to turn to food banks.

Telling people that is OK, that is the way to live, that they can do no better - now that IS patronising and anyone who promotes this way of life should be utterly ashamed of themselves.
[quote][p][bold]tykemison[/bold] wrote: Fredaj, I say they were not elected as the last general election did not have an overall majority and the lib dums sold their collective souls to the highest bidder (mr brown saw to that).Your righteousness in your post is naive at best, gain skills I hear you cry? Please tell, as anyone who has had the misfortune of being unemployed or been made redundant will inform you the department of work and pensions will bend over backwards to ensure people cannot improve themselves and just throw them (with the immoral threat of sanctions) onto farcical work programmes where competent people have to turn up to"workshops"wh ere agency type people patronise you and waffle on about cv's.Maybe leave your comfort zone and talk to those less fortunate.[/p][/quote]Governments in the UK rarely, if ever, have a majority of votes but that does not mean they are not elected. People who have been made redundant (and I have been made redundant myself) who have skills will generally be able to get another job. All people who have a skill will generally be able to get a job. This is not patronising - this is the stark choice that every working age adult without debilitating disabilities in the UK has. People without a skill will always be living a life where they juggle benefits and low paid work - and depending on how many children they have - figuring out whether to work or just stay at home to get the most cash into the household. And perhaps having to turn to food banks. Telling people that is OK, that is the way to live, that they can do no better - now that IS patronising and anyone who promotes this way of life should be utterly ashamed of themselves. fredaj
  • Score: -2

9:07am Wed 23 Apr 14

Valerie Paynter says...

The rental and rental agency extortion racket is behind more of this than is healthy. The cost of buses and trains is huge. The cost of using a public launderette is huge (far cheaper to have a washing machine if space and initial outlay make having one possible), and, and, and.

And yet the average disposable wage in Brighton & Hove is apparently £17,000 after paying for things like this learned recently. "Average". We are living with growing extremes of wealth, property ownership, accumulation of property to trade like stocks and shares, and incomes too low to support a normal life. Too low? If the cost of living was normal, perhaps not.

Successive governments have encouraged property prices to inflate so stupidly that we now have a property market dangerously and wrongly inflated to levels that mean increasing numbers are now seeking rescue from food banks. And I bet some of those people at food banks are paying mortgages they can't afford if they are to also eat. Are THEY too going to food banks? Because they are trapped by a mortgage they stuggle to pay?

Rent controls MUST somehow be brought back in some form; and it is surely not beyond the wit of govt to understand that just capping maximum housing benefit is not going to achieve that. Instead it forces people to the food banks as more of what comes in goes out to landlords who charge more than housing benefit will pay. Worse, too many landlords are amateur buy-to-let people who are over-extended, mortgaged to the max and likely to have to liquidate when interest rates begin to rise again.

Housing Association rents are now so high that many of their tenants are hurting. All newbuild "affordable housing" goes to housing assocations who are not providing housing that most people would find affordable. These should be council housing and not housing association to be properly affordable new housing units (and if they were they would have to be bigger too).

Paul Lewis, the Money Saving Expert yesterday tweeted about buy-to-let being one of the ways property prices have been pushed up so high as people scrambled to do buy-to-let as a way of creating a pension fund for the future.and renters have to pay their inflated mortgages as basic because it is demanded by the mortgage company. When interest rate rises force them to sell, people will lose their rented homes. And then there are those investors buying property like bars of gold, to sell when the profit level rises.

I recently read a tweet exchange from joking landlords. One tweeted about the cheek of his tenant objecting to a 10% rise in the rent. The other (Landlord XX) joked that he should make it 20% and..blah, blah. The callous cruelty of this joking hurt, just reading it.

Loo rolls can be bought in supermarkets in bundles of 9-12. Think about also donating things like that as well as food when you see food bank collections taking place at supermarkets. The one I gave to had a list of suggested items and that was on it.

Nobody should feel smug about their situation and troll about what is happening in their comments here. It is vicious for the sick fun of being vicious. Whether renting or paying a mortgage, too many people are really hurting and really do need the food banks. The one I donated to said they give to people "referred to us by agencies". Anyone abusing a food bank for freebies they don't need should be bloody jailed.
The rental and rental agency extortion racket is behind more of this than is healthy. The cost of buses and trains is huge. The cost of using a public launderette is huge (far cheaper to have a washing machine if space and initial outlay make having one possible), and, and, and. And yet the average disposable wage in Brighton & Hove is apparently £17,000 after paying for things like this learned recently. "Average". We are living with growing extremes of wealth, property ownership, accumulation of property to trade like stocks and shares, and incomes too low to support a normal life. Too low? If the cost of living was normal, perhaps not. Successive governments have encouraged property prices to inflate so stupidly that we now have a property market dangerously and wrongly inflated to levels that mean increasing numbers are now seeking rescue from food banks. And I bet some of those people at food banks are paying mortgages they can't afford if they are to also eat. Are THEY too going to food banks? Because they are trapped by a mortgage they stuggle to pay? Rent controls MUST somehow be brought back in some form; and it is surely not beyond the wit of govt to understand that just capping maximum housing benefit is not going to achieve that. Instead it forces people to the food banks as more of what comes in goes out to landlords who charge more than housing benefit will pay. Worse, too many landlords are amateur buy-to-let people who are over-extended, mortgaged to the max and likely to have to liquidate when interest rates begin to rise again. Housing Association rents are now so high that many of their tenants are hurting. All newbuild "affordable housing" goes to housing assocations who are not providing housing that most people would find affordable. These should be council housing and not housing association to be properly affordable new housing units (and if they were they would have to be bigger too). Paul Lewis, the Money Saving Expert yesterday tweeted about buy-to-let being one of the ways property prices have been pushed up so high as people scrambled to do buy-to-let as a way of creating a pension fund for the future.and renters have to pay their inflated mortgages as basic because it is demanded by the mortgage company. When interest rate rises force them to sell, people will lose their rented homes. And then there are those investors buying property like bars of gold, to sell when the profit level rises. I recently read a tweet exchange from joking landlords. One tweeted about the cheek of his tenant objecting to a 10% rise in the rent. The other (Landlord XX) joked that he should make it 20% and..blah, blah. The callous cruelty of this joking hurt, just reading it. Loo rolls can be bought in supermarkets in bundles of 9-12. Think about also donating things like that as well as food when you see food bank collections taking place at supermarkets. The one I gave to had a list of suggested items and that was on it. Nobody should feel smug about their situation and troll about what is happening in their comments here. It is vicious for the sick fun of being vicious. Whether renting or paying a mortgage, too many people are really hurting and really do need the food banks. The one I donated to said they give to people "referred to us by agencies". Anyone abusing a food bank for freebies they don't need should be bloody jailed. Valerie Paynter
  • Score: 7

11:26am Thu 24 Apr 14

huntsini says...

We should all be more savvy these days when it comes to food. There are savings to be made and food doesn't have to break the bank. I use Food Vouchers and get daily deals on food offers.
We should all be more savvy these days when it comes to food. There are savings to be made and food doesn't have to break the bank. I use Food Vouchers and get daily deals on food offers. huntsini
  • Score: -3

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