Foodbank use in the Lancaster and Morecambe area has significantly increased over the last year, new figures have revealed.
Issues with Universal Credit, insecure or casual work, zero hour contracts, benefit changes and low pay have all contributed to the rise, Morecambe Bay Foodbank said.
Between April 1 2017 and March 31 2018, 5,947 three day emergency food supplies were provided to local people in crisis by Morecambe Bay Foodbank, compared to 3,842 supplies in the previous year.
Of this number, 2,313 went to children.
Lancaster MP Cat Smith has described the situation as a “national disgrace”.
The Foodbank is a member of The Trussell Trust’s network, which has today reported a UK-wide increase food bank use.
Annette Smith, Foodbank Manager at Morecambe Bay Foodbank said: “We don’t want to be here forever. No one in Morecambe should need a foodbank’s help and we want to see an end to local people needing emergency food at all. It doesn’t have to be this way - with a benefits system that catches people before they fall into crisis, and secure work that provides people with enough money to cover the cost of essentials, this is possible.
“But until that time, we’ll continue to provide vital support when it matters most - we’re dedicated to ensuring that people in our community with no money for food are able to access emergency support, and that has only been possible in the last year because of the incredible generosity shown by local people in donating food, time and funds. Thank you.”
Lancaster MP Cat Smith said: “This is nothing short of a national disgrace. The scale of food bank use under the Tories once again highlights the growing poverty in our country.”
Lancashire County Councillor Lizzi Collinge, who is also Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Morecambe and Lunesdale, said: “This report makes clear that the people suffering most are children and people living with chronic health conditions and disabilities.
“In many cases the effects of the system are making people even more ill. This is just further proof that the Conservative Government can’t be trusted to help people out when they need it most.”
Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris has been contacted for comment.
The running costs for the Morecambe Bay Foodbank are around £25,000 a year, all of which is raised locally to enable them to continue their work.
Costs include rent, a van to pick up donated food and deliver to the Foodbank and other overheads like utilities and insurances.
The foodbank welcomes any new offers of help with funding – local businesses, organisations and individuals interested in supporting the Foodbank’s work can find out more at www.morecambebay.foodbank.org.uk