Pirate FM News

Foodbanks crisis: 17k emergency hand-outs in Cornwall in a year

Foodbanks crisis: 17k emergency hand-outs in Cornwall in a year

Published by Emma Carton at 7:31am 27th April 2019.

Thousands of emergency supplies were handed out by foodbanks in Cornwall last year, figures from a leading charity show.

The Trussell Trust says it gave out 16,752 three-day packages in the Duchy between April 2018 and March 2019.

The charity, which has bases at Helston, Truro and Falmouth, St Austell and Wadebridge, says 37% were to children.

The total was an 8% increase on the previous year, when 15,496 were distributed.

Across the south-west, more than 132,000 emergency food supplies were handed out last year - a 10% increase on the previous 12 months.

The Trussell Trust said that, across the UK, almost half of food bank referrals made due to a delay in benefits being paid were linked to Universal Credit.

It said the Government should end the five-week wait for a first Universal Credit payment to help reduce reliance on food banks.

In total, the charity distributed more than 1.5 million food packages in 2018-19 across 1,200 sites in the UK - 19% more than the year before, and a 73% increase on five years previously.

More than half a million packages last year were for children.

"What we are seeing year upon year is more and more people struggling to eat because they simply cannot afford food. This is not right.

"Our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty. Universal Credit should be part of the solution but currently the five-week wait is leaving many without enough money to cover the basics.

"As a priority, we're urging the Government to end the wait for Universal Credit to ease the pressure on thousands of households.

"Ultimately, it's unacceptable that anyone should have to use a food bank in the first place.

"No charity can replace the dignity of having financial security. That's why, in the long term, we're urging the Government to ensure benefit payments reflect the true cost of living and work is secure, paying the real living wage, to help ensure we are all anchored from poverty".

Emma Revie, The Trussell Trust

"It is not true to say that people need to wait five weeks for their first payment. Universal Credit is available to claimants on day one.

"It also cannot be claimed that Universal Credit is driving the overall use of food banks or that benefit changes and delays are driving growth.

"The Trust's own analysis shows a substantial fall in the share of parcels being issued due to benefit payment delays.

"The best route out of poverty is to help people into sustainable employment which, with record employment, we are doing".

Department for Work and Pensions

You can check the full figures here.

Contact Us

If you would like to submit a query or provide more information on this story please get in touch below.

Please wait...
  • Up to 3 JPG or PNG images, 2MB max size
  • We will always endeavour to credit you when we publish your pictures.
  • By uploading you are agreeing to this non-exclusive reuse, royalty-free, across all Pirate FM platforms, which extends to our partner broadcasters.
  • You retain copyright to all images.
  • If you would like to send us a video, please upload to YouTube or similar and paste the video URL into the message above.
Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Pirate FM

Pirate Extra Pirate 70s Escape LoveCornwall