The Trussell Trust, parent organisation of the Norwood and Brixton Foodbank is calling for a hot line between foodbanks and local job centres after the latest figures show that the foodbank network is on course to distribute the highest number of food parcels in its 12-year history.
Nearly 3000 three-day emergency food supplies were provided to local people by the Norwood and Brixton foodbank between April and September this year. The top three reasons for referrals were: benefit delay 27%; low income 19%; and, benefit change 12%.
The proposed direct line would provide timely support for people referred to foodbanks because of problems with welfare. The foodbank says its managers, volunteers and welfare advisers spend a significant amount of time on hold to DWP phone lines on behalf of people in crisis.
Project lead Elizabeth Maytom said: “Anybody could find themselves in need of the foodbank. Every week we meet local people like you or me, who have been hit by something unavoidable – such as illness, a delay in welfare payments or an unexpected bill – and are unable to afford food. It really is only with the community’s support that we’re able to provide vital emergency help when it most matters, and we’re constantly surprised and overwhelmed by local people’s generosity.
“We’re keen to work with individuals, businesses and organisations across the community to help put a stop to local people going hungry – there’s a part for everyone to play. Thank you so much to everyone in this part of Lambeth who already donates time, food and money to help local people. If you’re not already involved, we’d love to hear from you!”
The foodbank welcomes any new offers of help with funding – local businesses, organisations and individuals interested in supporting the foodbank’s work can find out more.