Benefits reform blamed for rise in foodbank demand as 25 tonnes of food distributed to needy households (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Benefits reform blamed for rise in foodbank demand as 25 tonnes of food distributed to needy households
TWENTY-five tonnes of food have been distributed by Bournemouth’s main foodbank to households in need since last April.
The figure has more than doubled since the year 2010-11, councillors were told.
Kinson North councillor Dennis Gritt raised the issue at a full meeting of Bournemouth council.
Cllr Jane Kelly, cabinet member for regeneration and partnership, quoted statistics from the Trussell Trust, which runs the Bournemouth Foodbank, with collection points in Charminster, Moordown and Boscombe.
They said Bournemouth Foodbank had given 25 tonnes of food so far this year, compared with 19 tonnes to 6,500 people in 2012-13. The figure in 2011-12 was 13 tonnes to 5,000 people.
The Trussell Trust says it has helped 5,757 people in Bournemouth so far this year.
Labour member Cllr Gritt asked Cllr Kelly: “Could you tell me how many food banks were needed under the Labour government, prior to this coalition government?”
Cllr Kelly said: “The situation today is different than that under the last Labour government.”
Cllr Gritt told the Daily Echo: “The generosity of people is not infinite. If it keeps going the way it’s going, people are going to become desperate because they haven’t got food.”
Debbie Bramley, who manages Bournemouth Foodbank, said it was currently helping around 200-250 people a week.
She said the benefits reforms which took effect in April 2013 had played a big part in the increase.
“It’s not people who don’t want to work. They desperately want to work and get out of the system but it just doesn’t seem to be helping those people,” she added, Many people took jobs on zero-hours contracts and found themselves claiming benefits again shortly afterwards, she added.
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