Grantham Foodbank use at record high
The number of people that turned to Grantham Foodbank for emergency food supplies last year surged at a higher rate than ever, according to the latest foodbank report.
Local figures show that there were 1,685 voucher interventions by 53 frontline agencies in 2018, which resulted in a 29 per cent increase of people relying on the charity compared to in 2017.
Thirty-five tonnes of food, equating to 34,128 meals, was distributed to 2,527 adults and 916 children in the Grantham area in 2018.
The number of local children receiving emergency food parcels surged by 36 per cent from 2017, with a 37 increase in children aged 0 to four years old.
Nearly 60 per cent of the 1,685 vouchers fulfilled were for three wards within the Grantham area.
Earlesfield had 310 vouchers, St Vincent’s took 399 and St Wulfram’s had 267.
Although more than 60 per cent of vouchers were fulfilled for clients living in the 30 per cent most deprived areas, the remaining 40 per cent of vouchers were given to clients living in areas categorised as more affluent.
Low income is the biggest single – and fastest growing – reason for referral to the foodbank, accounting for 47 per cent of referrals in 2018.
Other main causes of crisis include benefit changes, delays in benefits, overall debt and homelessness.
Most vouchers are fulfilled for clients living within a mile of the foodbank and most of those are single. Only a handful come from outside of the SKDC wards.
No month showed a fall on the previous year with June, July and December being the busiest months.
More than 50 agencies refer clients to the foodbank. Referrals from Job Centre Plus have increased by 65 per cent and by 50 per cent from SKDC. Referrals from Citizens Advice Bureau fell by 22 per cent.
The general public are helping to cater for the extra demand with collections from Asda more than doubling in the past year and donations from schools also up by 16 per cent.
Foodbank co-ordinator Brian Hanbury said: “We are truly thankful to our town and churches for keeping up with the rising demand for their local foodbank.
“The scariest figures are that in the increase of children needing support. This is mainly due to delays in transition towards universal credit. This is causing great hardship across our town and the wider country.
“We are truly thankful to the trust and compassion that is flowing from our communities and thankful to our volunteers that help soften the blow of having to visit a foodbank. What a great town we live in.”