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Archbishop: Foodbank Use "Startling"

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3:49pm 15th November 2013
(Updated 3:49pm 15th November 2013)

The Archbishop of Canterbury has told Pirate FM he is startled by the number of people forced to rely on foodbanks in Cornwall.

Justin Welby is visiting a project in Launceston helping struggling families.

It has seen the number of people it has helped hit two thousand, out of a population of eleven thousand.

The Archbishop told Pirate FM that many of those people should not have had to go there: "One of the things I noticed in the statistics is the number of people coming here because of late benefits payments. I'm not commenting on the overall changes to social benefits. But what is essential is whatever system they have works on time.

"The thing that really surprised me is the volume this foodbank has in not a huge community. I'm used to seeing that because it's not by any means the first foodbank I've seen. But the proportion of the population that is needing some support is really quite startling."

Rachel Collard who manages the Launceston Foodbank said: "We're such a small place so for someone to come and listen to us and actually want to be interested in us and look at our rural areas is just fantastic.

Whereas last year it was just people in crisis, it's now people that just cannot afford to live due to big bills coming in, council tax. So what was a crisis is now becoming a day to day problem for people.

The Archbishop has urged people across Cornwall to work out what they need to look after their own family and then set aside a little extra to help others.

He was speaking on day one of his visit to Cornwall, which is due to last into the weekend.

He will also visit Penzance, Newlyn, Truro, the Eden Project, Liskeard and Bodmin before returning home late on Sunday.




3:49pm 15th November 2013

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