Chesterfield foodbank use will increase again next year, MP warns

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has warned that the number of people using the town's foodbank will increase again in 2019.

Saturday, 22nd December 2018, 10:00 am
Toby Perkins MP with foodbank volunteers Yvonne Birchmore, Steven Atkins and Jim Hopkins.

Figures show that almost 300 people used the foodbank last Christmas.

And Mr Perkins is encouraging people to donate what they can to help those who find themselves in desperate need of essential items.

The Labour MP visited the Loundsley Green Foodbank to take in his own donation this Christmas and to speak to the staff and volunteers who work there. He was joined by councillors Avis Murphy, Tom Murphy and Ray Catt.

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“I am always impressed by the dedication of the volunteers at our food banks but disappointed that people are becoming increasingly dependent on them,” Mr Perkins said.

“The Chesterfield foodbank provided food parcels to over 280 people last Christmas and I suspect that this number will increase again this year. I urge people to donate what they can this Christmas to help those in need.”

He added: “Food prices have continued to increase whilst wages and benefits have not kept up with prices.

“We have also seen the disastrous roll-out of Universal Credit continue, which is causing massive disruption and leaving families without the money they need to pay the bills and buy food.

“We are also seeing vulnerable people losing their disability benefits and being expected to contribute more to their own care.

“The Government have abrogated their responsibilities and I am very grateful that we have a strong community spirit in Chesterfield to help protect in the direst circumstances.”

In November the Trussel Trust charity said that Universal Credit problems are driving an increase in the number of emergency parcels handed out at foodbanks in Derbyshire.

The trust said its network provided 4,625 emergency supplies in the area between April and September.

Of those, 3,221 were for adults and 1,404 for children.

This amounts to a 17 per cent increase on the same period in 2017, when 3,968 food parcels were handed out.

Call the foodbank at Loundsley Green on 07984589456 or the one at West Bars on 07984589456.