Surge in Blackburn foodbank demand during school holidays

Surge in Blackburn foodbank demand during school holidays

Surge in Blackburn foodbank demand during school holidays

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by

BLACKBURN Foodbank had its busiest month in July after a surge in demand because of the school holidays.

The number of people who used the Brunswick Street service rocketed from 714 in June to 945 in July – an increase of more than 32 per cent.

Foodbank providers in Burnley and Rossendale have also noticed a rise in demand since East Lancashire schools broke up for summer in mid-July.

Ros Duerden, from Blackburn Foodbank, said July’s numbers represented the fourth consecutive monthly rise in meal claimants.

And the figure of 945 people helped last month was up almost 50 per cent from the 637 people who used it in July 2013.

She said: “We are certainly supplying families throughout the summer who are struggling without their free school meals.

“We have 12 categories and the ones which we are seeing more of are related to benefits changes, debt, children’s meals and the ‘other’ category.

“Benefits delays and low income requests have actually fallen. More people from Darwen are in contact with us now as well.”

The Blackburn Foodbank, operated by the Trussell Trust, has now handed out meals to 11,810 people since it was set up in November 2012.

Caroline Collins, from the Raft Foundation, in Rossendale, said: “In the last couple of weeks, as we did during the Easter holidays, we have seen an increase. Even last week we have had more than the three weeks before that.

“We supplied 1,090 meals last week, when it had been fewer than 1,000 for a few weeks. But it’s still not our highest, which was almost 1,400 just after Christmas.

“We have had three street homeless people referred to us recently, and we’ve helped two back into accommodation.”

The Rawtenstall-based organisation is appealing for school uniforms, sleeping bags and rucksacks.

Community Solutions North West, which helps families in Hyndburn, Burnley, Pendle, Rossendale and the Ribble Valley, has recently relocated its warehouse to a larger site in Trafalgar Street, Burnley.

Paul Gott, who works in its office, said: “The feeling here is that we have had a seasonal increase, which is something do expect at this time of year.”

Comments (5)

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7:11am Wed 6 Aug 14

2 for 5p ridesagain says...

Instead of giving the great unwashed free food, why not give them lessons on budgeting money ? It doesn't take a professor to work out that state hand-outs do not account for ; taxis to town, fags, sky tv and booze as well as food.
If you are mug enough to donate food to these food banks there will always be freeloaders there to take it.
I have also seen them selling there there hand outs in the pub, please bear that in mind next time you feel like donating food that you have worked hard to buy.
Instead of giving the great unwashed free food, why not give them lessons on budgeting money ? It doesn't take a professor to work out that state hand-outs do not account for ; taxis to town, fags, sky tv and booze as well as food. If you are mug enough to donate food to these food banks there will always be freeloaders there to take it. I have also seen them selling there there hand outs in the pub, please bear that in mind next time you feel like donating food that you have worked hard to buy. 2 for 5p ridesagain
  • Score: 6

9:38am Wed 6 Aug 14

HelmshoreMan2010 says...

I know plenty of parents who currently don't work but them and their children still have fancy phones and a TV in every room. For every one genuine case using this food bank I bet you have one who could be shown how to budget better so perhaps (for once) 2 for 5 might be right in a roundabout way.

Don't get me wrong I know there are plenty of families that are stretched money wise as it is but there are also plenty of families that need to learn the meaning of 'essentials' too.
I know plenty of parents who currently don't work but them and their children still have fancy phones and a TV in every room. For every one genuine case using this food bank I bet you have one who could be shown how to budget better so perhaps (for once) 2 for 5 might be right in a roundabout way. Don't get me wrong I know there are plenty of families that are stretched money wise as it is but there are also plenty of families that need to learn the meaning of 'essentials' too. HelmshoreMan2010
  • Score: 10

12:43pm Wed 6 Aug 14

velocityowl says...

I for one would not be prepared to stop giving food in case a child has to go without. It's not always the scrounges that benefit from this scheme.
I for one would not be prepared to stop giving food in case a child has to go without. It's not always the scrounges that benefit from this scheme. velocityowl
  • Score: -4

12:55pm Wed 6 Aug 14

HelmshoreMan2010 says...

I know it would take too much to put in place but some sort of food voucher scheme rather than 100% cash benefits would be great. Rather than £100 benefits per week (as an example) it would be great to give some of that as vouchers for the high street butcher and greengrocers (benefiting local shops too).

There is just too much that would need to be put in place for that to happen but it is a shame because it would be great.
I know it would take too much to put in place but some sort of food voucher scheme rather than 100% cash benefits would be great. Rather than £100 benefits per week (as an example) it would be great to give some of that as vouchers for the high street butcher and greengrocers (benefiting local shops too). There is just too much that would need to be put in place for that to happen but it is a shame because it would be great. HelmshoreMan2010
  • Score: -4

6:10am Fri 8 Aug 14

Reasons says...

More money for that afternoon drink !!
More money for that afternoon drink !! Reasons
  • Score: 1

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