Foodbank reveals number of people given emergency food parcels over past year

New figures released by Chichester District Foodbank today reveal 5870 emergency food parcels were provided to people in the last year – 2485 of these went to children.

Chichester Foodbank staff Rich Lush with a foodbank volunteer
Chichester Foodbank staff Rich Lush with a foodbank volunteer

This is a 60 per cent increase compared to the previous year.

Between April 2020 and March 2021, Chichester District Foodbank has seen unprecedented numbers of people in need of support as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic hit people’s incomes and livelihoods.

The food bank believes the increase in local people needing its support is due to people’s finances being hit by the impact of coronavirus: increased redundancies and many workers bring placed on furlough trying to pay for the essentials with 20 per cent less income.

Joanne Kondabeka, Foodbank Manager of Chichester District Foodbank said: “It simply isn’t right that more and more people in Chichester district are struggling to put food on the table and have been forced to our doors.

"The pandemic has impacted huge numbers of people and we know our figures are just the tip of the iceberg as new community organisations, independent food banks and local authorities, have sprung up during the pandemic to support our community.

"We’re always blown away by the amount of support and generosity local people show in supporting our work – and during this difficult year, our vital work has only been possible because of that incredible support.

"Thank you so much. While our help continues to be needed, we’re dedicated to ensuring that people without enough money for food are able to access emergency support. But ultimately, we don’t think it’s right that any of us are forced to turn to any charity for emergency food.

"That’s why we’re calling on our candidates standing in local elections in Chichester District to commit to ending the need for our services in our community. Together we can build a Hunger Free Future.”

The foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust’s network, which reports record levels of need in the last year, with more than 2.5 million emergency food parcels given to people struggling to afford essentials between April 2020 and March 2021; more than 980,000 of these parcels went to children.

Chichester District Foodbank is now calling on political candidates of all parties in Chichester District standing in the upcoming May elections to commit to ending the need for food banks in their community once and for all.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “No one should face the indignity of needing emergency food. Yet our network of food banks has given out record numbers of food parcels as more and more people struggle without enough money for the essentials.

"This is not right but we know we can build a better future. This pandemic has shown the unexpected can hit suddenly, but we know when we push for change, united by our desire for justice and compassion, the government has to listen and act.

“We are asking you, the public, to write to your local election candidates for a commitment to working to end the need for food banks. Together we can take action now to build a hunger free future.”