Demand for emergency food parcels hits record levels in Ipswich

The need for emergency food parcels has increased in the last six months Picture: Neil Didsbury

The need for emergency food parcels has increased in the last six months Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

The number of food parcels given out in the East of England has increased by almost a third in the past six months, new data has revealed – and in Ipswich, demand has hit record levels

The period between April 2019 and September 2019 the Trussell Trust was one of the busiest for the food banks since the charity opened.

In these six months 84,983 three-day emergency food supplies were given to people in crisis in region, of these 32,735 went to children.

The trust said that there were three main reasons as to why they needed the emergency food; benefits not covering the cost of living, and delays or changes to benefits being paid.

Maureen Reynel MBE, founder of Ipswich charity FIND, said: "Demand has risen to its highest-ever levels in 2019 from adults and children in poverty and crisis in the Ipswich area.

"When I started almost 30 years ago, we gave out a handful of food parcels every week. Now it's over 100. It really has escalated this year, while we've also been busy delivering beds, cookers and washing machines.

"That's why we're excited to be moving into our new bigger home, thanks to the generous spirit of the local community, and to continue helping people in need.

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"We're also gearing up for our Christmas campaign of delivering 1,000 food parcels and we'd be extremely grateful for any donations to help cover the costs."

The Trussel Trust are now calling for all of the political parties to protect people from hunger.

Trussel Trust chief executive Emma Revie said: "Our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty, but currently thousands of women, men and children are not receiving sufficient protection from destitution.

"This is not right. But we know this situation can be fixed.

"This General Election, all political parties must pledge to protect people from hunger by ensuring everyone has enough money for the basics.

"We want our next government to start working towards a future where no one needs a food bank by ending the five week wait for Universal Credit; ensuring benefit payments cover the cost of living; and investing in local emergency support for people in crisis.

"Together, these three changes will put money back into the pockets of people who most need our support. It's in our power as a country to end the need for food banks. This can change."