MODERN-DAY BRITAIN: Hundreds of Chesterfield children depend on town's foodbank

More and more people are relying on foodbanks.
More and more people are relying on foodbanks.

More than 350 children relied on Chesterfield's foodbank in the last six months, figures show.

Between April 1 and September 30, 1,289 three-day emergency food supplies were provided to desperate residents by Chesterfield Foodbank.

Of this number, 341 went to children in crisis.

In the same period last year, 1,162 three-day emergency food supplies were handed out.

The foodbank believes the local increase is due to people struggling with continued issues with benefit payments, insecure work, low wages and debt.

Now, Chesterfield Foodbank is urging members of the public to help during the festive period - its busiest time of the year - by donating urgently needed food items and contributing towards the annual running costs of £20,000.

Ian Birchmore, manager of Chesterfield Foodbank, said: "It's really worrying that we are still seeing an increase in need for emergency food across the Chesterfield area.

"Our work with all the local statutory agencies and charities shows us an increase in local people struggling to make ends meet.

"These people come from all local wards and from all backgrounds, experiencing the harshness of cuts to their incomes that are not always of their own making.

"Every week people are referred to us after something unavoidable - like illness, a delayed benefit payment or an unexpected bill - means there's no money for food.

"It’s only with local people’s help that we’re able to provide vital support when it matters most.

"While we hope one day there'll be no need for our work, until that day comes we'll be working hard to help prevent people going hungry.

"Thank you so much to everyone who already donates time, food and money to help local people.

"If you're not already involved, we'd love to hear from you - please visit www.chesterfield.foodbank.org.uk for more information."

Chesterfield Foodbank is concerned about the rollout of Universal Credit - which combines six benefits into one monthly payment - in Chesterfield in three weeks.

Many claimants will have to wait for at least six weeks to get their first payment.

The foodbank fears this may contribute to debt, rent arrears and mental health issues while Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins is concerned about an increase in homelessness in the town.