Bournemouth Foodbank reports record demand and urges community support

Bournemouth, May 15, 2024 – Bournemouth Foodbank has experienced a record number of people seeking emergency food assistance over the past year. The latest figures reveal a growing crisis in our community, with an increased need for support despite the easing of inflation.

Over the past year, Bournemouth Foodbank provided emergency food parcels to 13,040 individuals, a 4.3% increase from the previous year of which 3,384 were children. This represents a 79.7% increase compared to 5 years ago.

In 2023/2024, we provided 7,223 parcels to people in our community, 4% more than the previous year, making up to more 115,000 meals, of which almost 30,000 were for children. Despite our efforts and the slight reduction in children and families, children still make up to 26% of all the food provided via our emergency food parcel support. And up to 28% of households were families with children and 14% constitutes single parent/guardian households.

It’s encouraging seeing the number of children accessing emergency food parcels decrease slightly. This reflects our concerted efforts to support families through various initiatives specifically our community meals like our Social Canteen every Friday, and our baby bank, Bundles that Love. We also believe our free food events during major holidays and school breaks have been instrumental in reducing the reliance on food parcels by children and families, making a significant impact in times when the demand is usually higher.

Nonetheless, The Trussell Trust’s latest figures reveal a stark picture across the UK, with food banks in their network distributing more than 3.1 million parcels to people experiencing hardship, with over 1.1 million going to children across the UK. Furthermore, close to 255,000 emergency food parcels were distributed across the Southwest of the country. This marks a 90% increase compared to five years ago.

Emma Revie, Chief Executive at the Trussell Trust, highlighted the severity of the situation in the whole of the UK: “It’s 2024, and we’re facing historically high levels of food bank need. We must not let food banks become the new norm. As we approach the next UK General Election, political leaders must outline how they will build a future where no one needs a food bank to survive. Voters want change, and we need cross-government action to deliver it.”

Additionally, donations from individuals have consistently declined over the past year, reflecting the broader economic challenges affecting our community. This decrease in contributions is a stark reminder that many people who might have previously supported the foodbank are now facing financial hardships themselves. As the cost of living rises, fewer people have the resources to donate, even as more individuals and families find themselves in need of assistance.

Martin Hancock, Bournemouth Foodbank’s newly appointed CEO, stated: “The increasing demand at Bournemouth Foodbank highlights the urgent need for community support. We urge everyone to help by donating food, giving financially, and volunteering. Your support is crucial in ensuring that no one in Bournemouth goes without essentials.”

Our work wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of our staff, volunteers, donors, and community partners. Their commitment ensures we can provide essential support to those in need, making a real difference in the lives of thousands in Bournemouth.

Call to Action
Whether it’s a donation of food, a financial contribution, or volunteering your time, every bit of support makes a significant impact. Additionally, by advocating for systemic change through the Guarantee our Essentials campaign, you can help address the root causes of food insecurity.

About the Trussell Trust
The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of over 1,400 food banks, providing emergency food and support to people in crisis. Their mission is to end hunger and poverty in the UK by campaigning for systemic change and ensuring everyone has enough income to afford life’s essentials. The Trussell Trust works with communities to address the root causes of poverty and advocate for a more just society.

About Bournemouth Foodbank
Bournemouth Foodbank, part of the Trussell Trust network, provides emergency food parcels and support to individuals and families facing hardship in the Bournemouth area. Beyond food assistance, the foodbank offers various programmes to help people manage their finances, find employment, and receive debt advice. With the help of dedicated staff, volunteers, and community partners, Bournemouth Foodbank aims to alleviate food insecurity and support those in need.

www.bournemouth.foodbank.org.uk

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