Thousands of crisis-hit Thurrock residents turn to foodbanks

Thousands of crisis-hit Thurrock residents turn to foodbanks

Thousands of crisis-hit Thurrock residents turn to foodbanks

First published in News Thurrock Gazette: Matt Abbott by , Chief Reporter

THURROCK foodbank helped almost 3,000 crisis-hit people in just eight months - a rise of more than 200 per cent.

Delays in receiving benefits, changes to benefits and low incomes are highlighted as the three main reasons given for families needing food parcels.

Between July 2012 - when the first Foodbank was set up in Thurrock - and April 2013, the bases served 1,209 people.

But the number of people turning to the Foodbanks - between April and December last year - soared to 2,905.

Angie Gaywood, Labour’s cabinet member for public protection said: “That's a staggering statistic to think that people locally, people we know, friends and neighbours are in desperate need.

“And it doesn't just stop at food, these families are often unable to afford basic items such as nappies, and soap too.”

In the last eight months, the Foodbank provided food for 1,669 adults and 1,236 children.

Families are given vouchers by organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau when they are struggling to make ends meet.

These vouchers can then be transferred at distribution centres for three days worth of tinned and dry food, such as cereals and pasta.

Thurrock Foodbank started with three distribution centres, in Corringham, Purfleet and Tilbury. It now has 11 centres across the borough.

Victoria Windus, the foodbank’s project manager said: “Demand has been high, but then an element of that is that we were still relatively new. More people are now being referred to us.

“All we can do is meet the need.”

Mrs Gaywood publicly thanked the Thurrock Foodbank and called for the government to do more to support foodbanks. She added: “Whilst it is sad to know so many people are desperately in need, it is the kind generosity of spirit in the many volunteers that run the foodbanks and the generosity of donations that are making such a difference.”

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SINCE starting in July 2012, the Thurrock Foodbank has grown in size to meet increasing demand.

Overseen by the Trussell Trust, a Christian charity committed to community action against poverty, the Foodbank started as an organisation with three distribution centres and no warehouse to store donated food.

In the last 16 months, it has grown as agencies in Thurrock such as the Citizens Advice Bureau and Family Mosaic refer more and more people.

Thurrock Foodbank recently received a total of £9,000 of funding from the Lloyds Community Fund Award, the Grays Rotary Club and an anonymous business, meaning it can purchase a van to take food from its warehouse to the 11 distribution centres it has in towns and villages across Thurrock.

A recent two-day collection outside the Tesco Extra at Lakeside yielded 2.6 tonnes of donated food.

Victoria Windus, the Thurrock Foodbank project manager said: “This is a powerful example of local people getting help from other local people.

“More people are aware of us now and what we do, which is why we’re collecting more now than we were a year ago at supermarkets.”

Thurrock Gazette:

Victoria Windus, the Thurrock Foodbank project manager

Foodbank facts:

-1,136 vouchers were redeemed by the foodbank, providing emergency food for 2,905 people equivalent to 1,669 adults and 1,236 children.

- Of these, benefit delays accounted for 880 people, low income for 748 people and benefit changes for 392 people -Thurrock Foodbank has served the most people in Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park (657 people), West Thurrock and South Stifford (376 people) and Tilbury St Chads (279 people).

- The breakdown by family type is 439 vouchers for single people, 270 vouchers for single parents, 222 vouchers for families, 118 vouchers for couples and 87 vouchers for 'other'.

-Since opening in July 2012, Thurrock Foodbank has helped 4,114 people - 2,334 adults and 1,780 children.

Comments (5)

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12:52pm Fri 24 Jan 14

29_ABC says...

People are using the foodbanks just because they are there. It's as simple as that, if you offer something for free, people will take it. And as for claiming the Government should do more, how about the users of the foodbank do more; more to help themselves, budgeting, quitting smoking, cutting out alcohol, and reducing mobile phone usage. This article is nothing more than left leaning self righteous propaganda. And those who blindly donate to the food banks are deluded, Lloyds Bank included.
People are using the foodbanks just because they are there. It's as simple as that, if you offer something for free, people will take it. And as for claiming the Government should do more, how about the users of the foodbank do more; more to help themselves, budgeting, quitting smoking, cutting out alcohol, and reducing mobile phone usage. This article is nothing more than left leaning self righteous propaganda. And those who blindly donate to the food banks are deluded, Lloyds Bank included. 29_ABC
  • Score: -13

1:34pm Fri 24 Jan 14

ebagumtrebor says...

I seriously doubt that those on hard times really experienced hard times say 30 or more years ago. The welfare state handouts were nowhere near what they are today. People cannot grasp that handouts don't help people out of poverty. They make people reliant on handouts. The socialists love this becasue it guarantee's them future support, if the people on handouts can be bothered to vote. The whole 13 years of the last Labour government was based on low wages and welfare handouts. Don't kid youself if you think they're helping the poor. They are creating the poor.

With regard to food banks, I understand that you have to be referred to them. How about the people doing the referring try telling people they would be better off getting a job if they are capable of doing that.
I seriously doubt that those on hard times really experienced hard times say 30 or more years ago. The welfare state handouts were nowhere near what they are today. People cannot grasp that handouts don't help people out of poverty. They make people reliant on handouts. The socialists love this becasue it guarantee's them future support, if the people on handouts can be bothered to vote. The whole 13 years of the last Labour government was based on low wages and welfare handouts. Don't kid youself if you think they're helping the poor. They are creating the poor. With regard to food banks, I understand that you have to be referred to them. How about the people doing the referring try telling people they would be better off getting a job if they are capable of doing that. ebagumtrebor
  • Score: -9

1:36pm Fri 24 Jan 14

DannyButcher says...

29_ABC, either you are an cretin or a happily deluded member of the Conservative party.

Families up and down the country are starving and freezing, and this government couldn't care less. Food banks are NOT in use because of supply, but because of a necessary demand due to benefit changes, people in work unable to make ends meat as well as bedroom tax.

People are starving due to this corrupt, inept government, who see their job as making the working class/poor worse off, whilst enlarging the bank balances of themselves and their friends.

JDP can make a song and dance out of a bunch of horses, but she has nothing to say about those in her constituency who are starving and freezing due to the policies of her Government. I am not diminishing the importance of animal welfare, but enforced human suffering is disgusting, especially when it is ignored and dismissed by people who are very privileged and have never had to go hungry a day in their lives.

Maybe if the Conservative party members (local and National) spent more time on these real issues instead of expending energy on things like cupcakegate, people wouldn't be starving in this supposedly civilised country,.
29_ABC, either you are an cretin or a happily deluded member of the Conservative party. Families up and down the country are starving and freezing, and this government couldn't care less. Food banks are NOT in use because of supply, but because of a necessary demand due to benefit changes, people in work unable to make ends meat as well as bedroom tax. People are starving due to this corrupt, inept government, who see their job as making the working class/poor worse off, whilst enlarging the bank balances of themselves and their friends. JDP can make a song and dance out of a bunch of horses, but she has nothing to say about those in her constituency who are starving and freezing due to the policies of her Government. I am not diminishing the importance of animal welfare, but enforced human suffering is disgusting, especially when it is ignored and dismissed by people who are very privileged and have never had to go hungry a day in their lives. Maybe if the Conservative party members (local and National) spent more time on these real issues instead of expending energy on things like cupcakegate, people wouldn't be starving in this supposedly civilised country,. DannyButcher
  • Score: 9

7:51am Sat 25 Jan 14

ebagumtrebor says...

Has anyone produced the evidence of people starving? Where are the pictures in the national news. Where are the queues of emaciated people in the A&E at Baslidon. I know single people on benefits that manage to have mobile phones, go to the pub and are definitely not starving. I know single mothers who still manage to do the same. Someone is not telling the whole story here. If people are going to food banks, there must be other reasons behind the causes than lack of benefits. If that wasn't the case then every single person on benefits would be at a food bank and that is not happening.

So give the thumbs down but that is the truth. This is not the governments fault, even though socialists would like to be able to blame it on them. They'd like to blame the governemnt for measles, chicken pocks and flu, which were all eradicated under a Labour government as we know.

The fact of the matter is that life on benefits isn't supposed to be comfortable, even though it is for so many. That is why they make that lifestyle choice. Saying that people are starving because of the government stretches the truth beyond credibility.
Has anyone produced the evidence of people starving? Where are the pictures in the national news. Where are the queues of emaciated people in the A&E at Baslidon. I know single people on benefits that manage to have mobile phones, go to the pub and are definitely not starving. I know single mothers who still manage to do the same. Someone is not telling the whole story here. If people are going to food banks, there must be other reasons behind the causes than lack of benefits. If that wasn't the case then every single person on benefits would be at a food bank and that is not happening. So give the thumbs down but that is the truth. This is not the governments fault, even though socialists would like to be able to blame it on them. They'd like to blame the governemnt for measles, chicken pocks and flu, which were all eradicated under a Labour government as we know. The fact of the matter is that life on benefits isn't supposed to be comfortable, even though it is for so many. That is why they make that lifestyle choice. Saying that people are starving because of the government stretches the truth beyond credibility. ebagumtrebor
  • Score: -4

1:57pm Sat 25 Jan 14

OckendonPaul says...

ebagumtrebor has a point regarding not getting the entire story. I don't see much evidence of starvation, where are the emaciated people wandering around? The obesity crisis - now that I can see. How can we have both? What's going on?
Is it a bit like the Big Issue magazine? A once noble idea that, thanks to a minor tweak in the rules, has been hijacked by Eastern European immigrants at the expense of our own homeless. Has something similar befallen the food banks...?
ebagumtrebor has a point regarding not getting the entire story. I don't see much evidence of starvation, where are the emaciated people wandering around? The obesity crisis - now that I can see. How can we have both? What's going on? Is it a bit like the Big Issue magazine? A once noble idea that, thanks to a minor tweak in the rules, has been hijacked by Eastern European immigrants at the expense of our own homeless. Has something similar befallen the food banks...? OckendonPaul
  • Score: 0

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