Waterloo Foodbank has reported a 77 per cent increase in the number of emergency food parcels given to local people, as it publishes statistics for the year to the end of March.
Waterloo Foodbank provided 2,928 three-day emergency food parcels to local people between April 2018 and March 2019. Of this number, 1,175 went to children.
These figures feed into a larger national picture with a record increase in food bank use across the UK reported by the Trussell Trust.
The foodbank is based at the Oasis Centre with satellite centres operating at St John's Waterloo and St George the Martyr in Borough.
Waterloo Foodbank is backing calls from the Trussell Trust to ensure the benefits system is able to protect people from poverty.
The figures from Waterloo Foodbank show a 77 per cent increase on the same period last year. The charity believes the local increase is due to people struggling with continued issues with benefit payments; issues with Universal Credit such as the five-week wait; insecure work and the rising cost of living in inner London.
Rebekah Gibson, manager of Waterloo Foodbank, said: "We are saddened that the number of people using our Foodbank has risen so dramatically in the last year, and we are struggling to keep enough food on our shelves to meet this demand. No-one in Waterloo should need the help of a food bank. Our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty. Universal Credit should be part of the solution but currently the five-week wait is leaving many without enough money to cover the basics.
"Until we reach a future where food banks are no longer needed, we'll continue to provide vital support when it matters most. Our work in the community 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."
• Find out more about the foodbank and how you can help at https://waterloo.foodbank.org.uk/
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