Demand at Rugby foodbank rises by over a quarter in one year - The Rugby Observer

Demand at Rugby foodbank rises by over a quarter in one year

Rugby Editorial 19th Dec, 2019   0

DEMAND on Rugby’s foodbank has risen by over a quarter in just a year.

Volunteers handed out 2,273 emergency food parcels to local people between April and September this year, 869 of them to children – 28 per cent up on the same period last year.

The chair of Rugby Foodbank said the increase was due to delays in Universal Credit payments, continued issues with benefit payments, insecure work, and low income.

Diana Mansell said: “It’s a real concern. These figures don’t take into account our busiest time of year. As the colder weather draws in and Christmas approaches, we always find even more people needing our help.

“We believe that everyone should have enough money coming in to cover the basics. But right now, more and more people in Rugby are being forced to our doors. This isn’t right.”

National foodbank network The Trussell Trust has asked the government to end the five-week wait for Universal Credit, ensure benefit payments cover the cost of living, and invest in local emergency support for people in crisis.

The figures come alongside statistics released by charity Shelter, which show the number of homeless people in temporary accommodation in Rugby has risen by 56 per cent in a year to 499, and the number of rough sleepers by 72 per cent to 32.

One in 215 people in Rugby is now homeless – the second-highest rate in the West Midlands.

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey declined to comment on foodbank use, instead repeating remarks he made earlier this month in response to rising numbers of homeless children in the town.

He said: “There has been a significant impact on the numbers here in Rugby due to families being moved out of Biart Place.

“It is now imperative that Rugby Borough Council replenishes its housing stock with new high-quality social housing for local families. I am already working closely with councillors and officers to secure government support and funding to ensure this happens as swiftly as possible.”

Last year, he said the government had responded to The Trussell Trust’s concerns about the roll-out of Universal Credit.

Rugby Foodbank has been providing emergency food and support since March 2012. Its annual running costs are around £14,000 a year, including transport, utilities, insurances, printing and a part-time administrator.

The charity needs a new warehouse and distribution premises to keep up with growing demand.

Email [email protected] or call 07557 680019 to help in the search for new premises. Email [email protected] to get involved with the project group overseeing the move.

Visit for more information or to donate.

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