MORE than 1,600 residents have turned to the town’s food bank in the last year.
A total of 1,683 people relied on the The Trussell Trust’s three-day emergency packs in the past 12 months, while over 1,000 used the service in its first seven months.
It means 985 households, including 1,220 adults and 463 children, have needed crisis food.
Benefit delays was the single biggest reason why residents were referred to the charity, with low income, benefit changes and debt problems following closely behind.
Around 20 tonnes of food has been given to the St Stephen’s Church foodbank since it opened in September 2013 and more than 60 people have volunteered their time.
Schools, businesses and faith groups have also provided vital support which allows the group to hand out the crisis packages which also include essentials such as nappies and toiletries.
Across the West Midlands more people than ever needed emergency food, with double the population of Kidderminster turning to food banks.
One of many to turn to the service to feed her family was qualified teacher and mother-of-two, Susan.
She said: “I have an 18-month-old son and an eight-year-old stepson, I work part-time as a teacher and my husband has an insecure agency contract. There are times when he doesn’t get enough hours of work, and we really struggle to afford food and pay the bills. The foodbank meant we could put food on the table.”
But foodbank director Adrian Curtis, said despite signs of economic recovery the number of people using foodbanks still continued to grow.
“It’s difficult to be sure of the full extent of the problem as Trussell Trust figures don’t include people who are helped by other food charities or those who feel too ashamed to seek help.”
He added: “The Trussell Trust’s latest figures highlight how vital it is that we all work to prevent and relieve hunger in the UK.
“It’s crucial that we listen to the experiences of people using foodbanks to truly understand the nature of the problems they face, what people who have gone hungry have to say holds the key to finding the solution.”
For more information about the town’s foodbank e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07847 618539.