Category Archive

The latest updates from the #EndHungerUK team

New research reveals number of food bank parcels given out in Scotland almost double previously known figure

March 28, 2019

Sabine Goodwin

Sabine Goodwin of End Hunger UK partner Independent Food Aid Network tells us more about her research with independent food banks in Scotland alongside A Menu for Change…

 

We’ve known that emergency food parcel distribution has been growing year on year in Scotland because of the invaluable research of our EHUK colleagues the Trussell Trust. But there’s been a large missing piece to the jigsaw – how much support has been given out to adults and children by independent food banks? Thanks to our partnership with A Menu for Change, I’ve been able to find out more.

I’d already mapped 94 independent food banks operating across Scotland from April 2017 to September 2018 so I set about asking their managers and volunteer teams for any data they’d collected during that time. With increasing demand for emergency food supplies, these grassroots organisations are firefighting on a daily basis but their representatives were determined to help with our data collation. They knew that their work was unheard of and that we couldn’t understand the true scale of food bank use in Scotland without their input.

By now I’ve been able to count the number of food parcels that 84 of those 94 independent food banks gave out during that same 18-month period – April 2017 to September 2018. The results are shocking. Independent food banks, operating in 18 Scottish local authorities, distributed no less than 221,977 emergency food parcels. Added to the Trussell Trust’s distribution of 258,606 parcels, that makes a total of nearly half a million parcels given out by Scottish food banks.

As Evan Adamson of Instant Neighbour in Aberdeen said: “It’s truly staggering to think about how many people in our community and across Scotland are relying on emergency food aid.”

And this disaster on our doorstep is certainly greater than our figures reveal. We know that our statistics don’t include the emergency meals and other forms of food aid provided by countless independent organisations across Scotland, nor the people who don’t access food aid at all and try and find other ways to cope.

It doesn’t take much analysis to understand that with at least 709 more independent food banks operating in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the contribution of independent food banks represents a large missing piece of the UK charitable food aid picture.

And now we know much more about the scale of emergency food parcel provision in Scotland what can be done?

As Mary McGinley, Chair of Helensburgh and Lomond Foodbank in Argyll and Bute put it: “We are deeply dismayed by the rising demand for emergency food aid we’re seeing locally. We don’t want to be here; we would much rather see our political leaders address the causes of food insecurity through the introduction of the living wage, a better social security system and easier access to emergency welfare payments to allow people to buy their own food.”

We hope that the Scottish and UK Governments will take notice of this data and act urgently to address food insecurity. In Scotland,  A Menu for Change is using these shocking new figures to urge the Scottish Government to bring in a promised income supplement for Scotland’s poorest families as soon as possible.

Further details of our research can be found here

 
Sabine Goodwin is the Coordinator of the Independent Food Aid Network and led the research in Scotland with A Menu for Change. She would like to express her gratitude to the many independent food banks across Scotland contributing data and time to this project.  http://www.foodaidnetwork.org.uk/food-bank-data-in-scotland

 

 

 

A growing movement? End Hunger UK conference 2018

November 1, 2018

Charlie Spring

On World Food Day, October 16th 2018, the End Hunger UK campaign convened its second annual conference in Westminster to discuss the growing movement around household food insecurity in the UK. Charlie Spring of Sheffield University reports…

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Universal Credit: six claimants show just why and how it must be fixed

October 13, 2018

Start End Hunger Week by listening to these powerful stories (more…)

Ciaran’s story: Universal Credit in Huddersfield

August 15, 2018

As part of our campaign to Fix Universal Credit, End Hunger is gathering stories from around the country of how the roll-out is affecting people. Ciaran’s story from the frontline at Huddersfield Welcome Centre shows the impact of delays and low benefits.
To help Fix Universal Credit, you can sign or download our petition here.

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Heat or Eat is a choice no one should have to make

August 3, 2018

With the NPower Foundation estimating that 1.6 million people have “self disconnected” in the past 12 months it is clear that too many people are having to chose between food and heating. Annie Oliver, Programme Driector at Feeding Britain writes about the innovative ‘Fuel Bank’ scheme set up in Conrwall to help those who need support.

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A view from the front line, rising food bank use in an independent food bank

April 27, 2018

This week’s figures from the Trussell Trust  give a glimpse to the rise in foodbank use in the UK in recent years. The Trussell Trust only represent a fraction of the UK’s emergency provision. And in this blog John Hay of the Orchard, an independent food bank, talks about the reality of rising food bank use in Liverpool.

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Celebrate what foodbanks do but demand action from government on hunger – Bishop of Gloucester

January 8, 2018

On December 20 End Hunger UK launched our menu for change. The introduction was written by Rachel Treweek the Bishop of Gloucester. In this blog she explains why solving hunger is a moral and a political issue.

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Our campaign works – the Budget was proof

November 27, 2017

Garry Lemmon of the Trussell Trust says that changes made to Universal Credit in the Budget show that End Hunger UK’s campaign for food justice is beginning to deliver change – but we need to continue the work.

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Why we collect in local supermarkets

November 22, 2017

Fareshare is an End Hunger partner organisation that works with supermarkets and emergency food providersacross the country to redistribute surplus food. Over the last year they have given enough food to vulnerable individuals to provide 30 million meals, through partnerships with 7,000 charities. As well as doing this, Fareshare are working with foodbanks to collect food at local supermarkets. Next week sees the start of their annual week of supermarket collections, helping to stock food providers over Christmas and raising awareness. Fareshare’s Jen Glyn writes about how you can get involved.

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The story of volunteers filling the holiday hunger gap

November 13, 2017

UK food poverty has reached unprecedented levels and volunteers have played a role in filling the gap.  Stephanie Denning, a PhD researcher at the University of Bristol, is working to understand what drives volunteers.

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