‘Shocking’ foodbank figures could see the busiest year yet for Eastbourne

Eastbourne Foodbank says there has been a surge in people needing its services
Eastbourne Foodbank says there has been a surge in people needing its services

This year could be the busiest year yet for people needing emergency food, according to figures released by Eastbourne Foodbank.

In what it has described as “shocking” statistics, the charity revealed in January 2019, 1,287 people received food in total.

Universal Credit could cause a big increase in Eastbourne Foodbank use

Four hundred and twenty eight children received food as well as 859 adults, and 623 vouchers presented across its satellite foodbanks in Eastbourne.

Howard Wardle, chief executive of Eastbourne Foodbank, said to the Herald, “This is a very sad state of affairs but because of the generosity of the people of Eastbourne we are able to help these people.

“This January was one of the busiest months we have had ever. I think this year is going to be the busiest year yet if it keeps on that trend.”

Eastbourne Foodbank said the main reasons for people needing to use its service were:

• 453 people experiencing problems with welfare benefits

• 139 people experiencing severe debt

• 510 people on income too low to manage on

Mr Wardle said, “Things are tight for people waiting five weeks for Universal Credit. Then when they receive it it’s dealing less money than the old benefits.

“And there’s a large number of people who have low-income debt.

“From August 2018 onwards there was a very steep climb [of people using the service], more than 12,000 people used the Foodbank last year.

“Financially, we are always welcoming any support – people can donate on our website.

“There’s a campaign running to try to reduce the five weeks’ wait for Universal Credit, I think that would make a difference to the number of people we are helping because people would have money to buy food.”

Visit the Eastbourne Foodbank website here, call 01323 409925 or email admin@eastbourne.foodbank.org.uk

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