463% rise in North-East foodbank users in just 12 months

Durham Foodbank co-ordinator Peter MacLellan, right, with Justin Welby, now Archbishop of Canterbury, and Pastor Alan Bell

Durham Foodbank co-ordinator Peter MacLellan, right, with Justin Welby, now Archbishop of Canterbury, and Pastor Alan Bell

First published in News
Last updated
Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Durham)

DOZENS of bishops and hundreds of faith leaders including the Bishop of Durham will today (Wednesday, April 16) demand the Government take urgent action to tackle the growing food crisis engulfing the UK.

In the biggest Christian intervention on UK food poverty of modern times, faith leaders including the Archbishop of Wales will brand the situation “shocking” and demand the Government commit fully to an independent inquiry.

Their call comes as new figures reveal more than 900,000 people turned to foodbanks for emergency help in the last 12 months – a near three-fold increase on the previous year.

In the North-East, the jump was even more marked: the region’s nine Trussell Trust foodbanks reported a 463 per cent rise in demand in just 12 months.

Peter MacLellan, co-ordinator of Durham Foodbank, said the increase was amazing, appalling and shocking; and Trussell Trust chairman Chris Mould claimed the figures were only the tip of the iceberg.

In a blow to the Coalition’s welfare reform programme, the Trussell Trust claimed benefit delays or changes were to blame for more than half of people using foodbanks in the past year.

So-called sanctioning, the withdrawal of Jobseeker’s Allowance including for missing an appointment or training or being unavailable for work, came in for particularly strong criticism. More than four in five foodbanks reported the tough new rules had resulted in more people needing their help.

Static incomes, rising living costs, low pay and under-employment were also highlighted.

The figures come in the week a Netmums survey found one in five working parents had been forced to choose between paying an essential bill and putting food on the table in the last year and an All Party Parliamentary Group launched an inquiry into hunger and food poverty.

In this region, the Trussell Trust now runs nine foodbanks in the North-East and 23 across Yorkshire and Humberside, part of a 400-strong network nationwide.

A total of 59,146 adults and children in the North-East received three days’ emergency food relief in the last 12 months – up from 10,510 the year before.

In Yorkshire and Humberside, the figure was 37,403 (up from 10,380) – of which 5,874 were in North Yorkshire.

Responding to the figures, a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokeswoman said they were misleading, failing to distinguish between new and repeat visitors to foodbanks and claimed the Trussell Trust’s marketing had “grown their business”.

The DWP is spending £94bn on working age benefits, processing times are improving and fewer people are struggling to pay food bills, she said.

“The truth is that the employment rate is the highest it’s been for five years and our reforms will improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities by promoting work and helping people to lift themselves out of poverty,” the spokeswoman added.

Comments (22)

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12:52am Wed 16 Apr 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Historically it has always been the role of individual localities, parishes, and the Church to provide alms. Perhaps, rather than squabbling about gay priests and other things that really do not matter - the Church should return to its core values, stop sitting on vast expanses of property and cash, stop charging its priests peppercorn rents, and actually deliver those alms.

Of course, if the underclass would also 'do their bit' by cutting down on luxuries and breeding - that would also help to alleviate the situation.
Historically it has always been the role of individual localities, parishes, and the Church to provide alms. Perhaps, rather than squabbling about gay priests and other things that really do not matter - the Church should return to its core values, stop sitting on vast expanses of property and cash, stop charging its priests peppercorn rents, and actually deliver those alms. Of course, if the underclass would also 'do their bit' by cutting down on luxuries and breeding - that would also help to alleviate the situation. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 1

6:14am Wed 16 Apr 14

johnny_p says...

463% rise? Thanks for getting us into this mess Nu Labour.
463% rise? Thanks for getting us into this mess Nu Labour. johnny_p
  • Score: 1

6:54am Wed 16 Apr 14

Northcroft says...

always high percentages in fag smoking / booze swilling areas, NO ONE these days is poor the welfare system is too ridiculously generous, this is just a greedy scam used by freeloaders.
always high percentages in fag smoking / booze swilling areas, NO ONE these days is poor the welfare system is too ridiculously generous, this is just a greedy scam used by freeloaders. Northcroft
  • Score: 16

6:58am Wed 16 Apr 14

Not always right says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
Historically it has always been the role of individual localities, parishes, and the Church to provide alms. Perhaps, rather than squabbling about gay priests and other things that really do not matter - the Church should return to its core values, stop sitting on vast expanses of property and cash, stop charging its priests peppercorn rents, and actually deliver those alms.

Of course, if the underclass would also 'do their bit' by cutting down on luxuries and breeding - that would also help to alleviate the situation.
Disgusting bigoted opinion, lets hope you never hit on hard times. Suggested reading - The ragged trousered philanthropists.
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: Historically it has always been the role of individual localities, parishes, and the Church to provide alms. Perhaps, rather than squabbling about gay priests and other things that really do not matter - the Church should return to its core values, stop sitting on vast expanses of property and cash, stop charging its priests peppercorn rents, and actually deliver those alms. Of course, if the underclass would also 'do their bit' by cutting down on luxuries and breeding - that would also help to alleviate the situation.[/p][/quote]Disgusting bigoted opinion, lets hope you never hit on hard times. Suggested reading - The ragged trousered philanthropists. Not always right
  • Score: -8

7:25am Wed 16 Apr 14

tubgut says...

The body politic has much to answer for, no jobs low wages, mass immigration, country laws being made in Europe. So what have the political classes done to help the North East the answer not a lot. We don't need charity we need jobs. This lot will not deliver what is needed, time for a change first opportunity will be next month, please vote it's the only way of making our collective voices heard.
The body politic has much to answer for, no jobs low wages, mass immigration, country laws being made in Europe. So what have the political classes done to help the North East the answer not a lot. We don't need charity we need jobs. This lot will not deliver what is needed, time for a change first opportunity will be next month, please vote it's the only way of making our collective voices heard. tubgut
  • Score: 9

7:32am Wed 16 Apr 14

Jonn says...

The DWP should be the last ones to accuse others of using misleading figures, just look at the misleading Employment and Unemployment figures they produce.
The DWP should be the last ones to accuse others of using misleading figures, just look at the misleading Employment and Unemployment figures they produce. Jonn
  • Score: 15

7:35am Wed 16 Apr 14

stevegg says...

Northcroft has spoken the unpallitable truth. A good % of this increase is because some people abuse the genorosity of free food (because its their nature) and will take it even though they dont need to as its free, I know of 2 people who have done this. Also people who have the money to buy food instead prioritise other items as being essential eg cigarettes, alcohol, mobile phones etc knowing they can get free food from these food banks. The truth always hurts!
Northcroft has spoken the unpallitable truth. A good % of this increase is because some people abuse the genorosity of free food (because its their nature) and will take it even though they dont need to as its free, I know of 2 people who have done this. Also people who have the money to buy food instead prioritise other items as being essential eg cigarettes, alcohol, mobile phones etc knowing they can get free food from these food banks. The truth always hurts! stevegg
  • Score: 16

7:51am Wed 16 Apr 14

Ron Carter-Bonsteel says...

Low wages and sanctions put on benefit claimants are having a devastating impact in our towns and cities. There will always be abuses look at the MP's. Bankers. Etc but no it's unemployed that get the blame.
The Government are using benefit sanctions and are causing severe hardship to families and single people.
Government is fiddling the job figures because people getting sanctioned are not classed as unemployed for the length of period they lose their benefits. We are the 6th Richest Country yet we treat and label people like scroungers.
If you look at towns like ours in the North-East Middlesbrough it's been successive Governments that have destroyed our towns and Cities not the people.
Until people actually get a living wage more good quality jobs aspirations for our young and not so young to improve their lives then life will become even more unbearable for millions of people.
Low wages and sanctions put on benefit claimants are having a devastating impact in our towns and cities. There will always be abuses look at the MP's. Bankers. Etc but no it's unemployed that get the blame. The Government are using benefit sanctions and are causing severe hardship to families and single people. Government is fiddling the job figures because people getting sanctioned are not classed as unemployed for the length of period they lose their benefits. We are the 6th Richest Country yet we treat and label people like scroungers. If you look at towns like ours in the North-East Middlesbrough it's been successive Governments that have destroyed our towns and Cities not the people. Until people actually get a living wage more good quality jobs aspirations for our young and not so young to improve their lives then life will become even more unbearable for millions of people. Ron Carter-Bonsteel
  • Score: 11

10:33am Wed 16 Apr 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Not always right,
Nothing that I said was bigoted
1. The Church should fulfil its purpose and teachings (alms to the poor and moral leadership - perhaps also encouraging less gambling, drinking, and sex amongst the underclass.
2. The question of sexuality in priests is a penumbral issue of little relevance to what the core purpose of the church is supposed to be.
3. If people cannot afford to feed themselves, they should have the good grace not to then have further kids and expect the rest of us to pay for the 'fruits of their loins'.
Not always right, Nothing that I said was bigoted 1. The Church should fulfil its purpose and teachings (alms to the poor and moral leadership - perhaps also encouraging less gambling, drinking, and sex amongst the underclass. 2. The question of sexuality in priests is a penumbral issue of little relevance to what the core purpose of the church is supposed to be. 3. If people cannot afford to feed themselves, they should have the good grace not to then have further kids and expect the rest of us to pay for the 'fruits of their loins'. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 5

10:48am Wed 16 Apr 14

David Lacey says...

Nice to see a spread of opinion. I see both sides and accept that some people are in genuine hardship. To them foodbanks are a lifeline. To some foodbanks are merely an addition to their benefits and enable them to continue enjoying luxuries such as fags, booze and mobile phones.
.
The way out is for businesses to create more jobs and that means incentives must be focused on reducing red tape, business taxes and simplifying employment laws.
Nice to see a spread of opinion. I see both sides and accept that some people are in genuine hardship. To them foodbanks are a lifeline. To some foodbanks are merely an addition to their benefits and enable them to continue enjoying luxuries such as fags, booze and mobile phones. . The way out is for businesses to create more jobs and that means incentives must be focused on reducing red tape, business taxes and simplifying employment laws. David Lacey
  • Score: 18

11:09am Wed 16 Apr 14

Voice-of-reality says...

David,
You are quite correct and more eloquent than me on this issue.
Have a good Easter.
David, You are quite correct and more eloquent than me on this issue. Have a good Easter. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 0

12:43pm Wed 16 Apr 14

David Lacey says...

Bless you sir. Have an excellent Easter yourself. I am off to Prague on a cheapo city break for a few days. A city that is new to me so I am excited and looking forward to a new culture and currency.
Bless you sir. Have an excellent Easter yourself. I am off to Prague on a cheapo city break for a few days. A city that is new to me so I am excited and looking forward to a new culture and currency. David Lacey
  • Score: -6

2:08pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Voice-of-reality says...

A glorious city with wonderful food and a warm welcoming people. Enjoy yourself.
A glorious city with wonderful food and a warm welcoming people. Enjoy yourself. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: -4

4:00pm Wed 16 Apr 14

David Lacey says...

Do you notice the thumbs down? What kind of person is driven to do that. Someone who hasn't the guts to leave a comment? Someone who is jealous? Someone who is of left wing persuasion? All of these I suggest.
Do you notice the thumbs down? What kind of person is driven to do that. Someone who hasn't the guts to leave a comment? Someone who is jealous? Someone who is of left wing persuasion? All of these I suggest. David Lacey
  • Score: -6

4:46pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Jealousy I suspect for you daring to 'escape from the pits' and see life 'beyond village where father, great grandfather and the old horse all worked in the mine' - or some other backward mentality that believes we should all be equal (ised downwards).
Jealousy I suspect for you daring to 'escape from the pits' and see life 'beyond village where father, great grandfather and the old horse all worked in the mine' - or some other backward mentality that believes we should all be equal (ised downwards). Voice-of-reality
  • Score: -5

7:32pm Wed 16 Apr 14

laboursfoe says...

David Lacey wrote:
Do you notice the thumbs down? What kind of person is driven to do that. Someone who hasn't the guts to leave a comment? Someone who is jealous? Someone who is of left wing persuasion? All of these I suggest.
Unbelievable David, have a great time. Prague is fantastic, plenty of culture.

I would put it down to jealousy, pathetic really. If anyone deserves a break it's someone that worked all their life and is living it up on their hard earned pension......
[quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: Do you notice the thumbs down? What kind of person is driven to do that. Someone who hasn't the guts to leave a comment? Someone who is jealous? Someone who is of left wing persuasion? All of these I suggest.[/p][/quote]Unbelievable David, have a great time. Prague is fantastic, plenty of culture. I would put it down to jealousy, pathetic really. If anyone deserves a break it's someone that worked all their life and is living it up on their hard earned pension...... laboursfoe
  • Score: -4

8:30pm Wed 16 Apr 14

laboursfoe says...

laboursfoe wrote:
David Lacey wrote:
Do you notice the thumbs down? What kind of person is driven to do that. Someone who hasn't the guts to leave a comment? Someone who is jealous? Someone who is of left wing persuasion? All of these I suggest.
Unbelievable David, have a great time. Prague is fantastic, plenty of culture.

I would put it down to jealousy, pathetic really. If anyone deserves a break it's someone that worked all their life and is living it up on their hard earned pension......
So it isn't jealousy then?? Come on, explain what the issue is then.

I'd like to know, as someone that pays higher rate tax but enjoys his family holidays....
[quote][p][bold]laboursfoe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: Do you notice the thumbs down? What kind of person is driven to do that. Someone who hasn't the guts to leave a comment? Someone who is jealous? Someone who is of left wing persuasion? All of these I suggest.[/p][/quote]Unbelievable David, have a great time. Prague is fantastic, plenty of culture. I would put it down to jealousy, pathetic really. If anyone deserves a break it's someone that worked all their life and is living it up on their hard earned pension......[/p][/quote]So it isn't jealousy then?? Come on, explain what the issue is then. I'd like to know, as someone that pays higher rate tax but enjoys his family holidays.... laboursfoe
  • Score: -3

9:15pm Wed 16 Apr 14

David Lacey says...

You sir are an absolute toff. Thanks.
You sir are an absolute toff. Thanks. David Lacey
  • Score: -3

10:44pm Wed 16 Apr 14

grandmab says...

Food and rent vouchers/stamps would prevent this abuse of food banks. In some countries this is the norm. It ensures that money meant to feed and house you and your offspring is not spent on unnecessary items. My friends who are on benefit can afford to run a car own a house and spend two weeks every year in Benidorm or elsewhere. They both smoke and have a night at the pub at least once a week and are at the club every day. They own 52" TV's and each have a smart phone with a data plan I can not afford on my pension. They also use food banks and free furniture schemes. It disgusts me but they think I am a fool for not taking advantage. Neither has worked since the age of 16 and they are now grandparents. I feel bad for genuine hardship cases but until they eliminate the scroungers some will suffer because of the rampant fraud. Who can blame them when the example we are shown by politicians is no different.
Food and rent vouchers/stamps would prevent this abuse of food banks. In some countries this is the norm. It ensures that money meant to feed and house you and your offspring is not spent on unnecessary items. My friends who are on benefit can afford to run a car own a house and spend two weeks every year in Benidorm or elsewhere. They both smoke and have a night at the pub at least once a week and are at the club every day. They own 52" TV's and each have a smart phone with a data plan I can not afford on my pension. They also use food banks and free furniture schemes. It disgusts me but they think I am a fool for not taking advantage. Neither has worked since the age of 16 and they are now grandparents. I feel bad for genuine hardship cases but until they eliminate the scroungers some will suffer because of the rampant fraud. Who can blame them when the example we are shown by politicians is no different. grandmab
  • Score: 4

1:46am Fri 18 Apr 14

Voice-of-reality says...

For over 100 years the state has poured millions of pounds into depreived areas in an attempt to make such places better. It is surely now obvious that the majority of people who live in such areas do not wsih either to be 'resuced' or to adopt middle class values. They are clearly happy in to live in the style to which they are accustomed. There is a sizeable minority within the country who do not wish to be educated, do not wish to work, do not wish to further themselves, and do not wish to take any responsibilty for themselves. If the decent hard working people of the country continue to support this underclass of degenerates then it enables such people to continue to proposer whilst 'cocking a snoop' at those who actually work hard to fund not onlytheir own lives but also those who cannot be bothered. It is tiem to wake up and cut the 100 year olf umbillical cord - let these people fend for themselves. They can either sink or swim - the choice is theirs and no amount of government interference will improve them. better to spend resources on those who actually care about their situations in life and wish to prosper and improve.
For over 100 years the state has poured millions of pounds into depreived areas in an attempt to make such places better. It is surely now obvious that the majority of people who live in such areas do not wsih either to be 'resuced' or to adopt middle class values. They are clearly happy in to live in the style to which they are accustomed. There is a sizeable minority within the country who do not wish to be educated, do not wish to work, do not wish to further themselves, and do not wish to take any responsibilty for themselves. If the decent hard working people of the country continue to support this underclass of degenerates then it enables such people to continue to proposer whilst 'cocking a snoop' at those who actually work hard to fund not onlytheir own lives but also those who cannot be bothered. It is tiem to wake up and cut the 100 year olf umbillical cord - let these people fend for themselves. They can either sink or swim - the choice is theirs and no amount of government interference will improve them. better to spend resources on those who actually care about their situations in life and wish to prosper and improve. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: -5

8:10am Fri 18 Apr 14

Ron Carter-Bonsteel says...

With respect to Voice of Reality we have to agree to disagree. In the 70s a Conservative minister think it was Nigel Lawson who said unemployment is a price worth paying. Money has been greatly wasted I do agree on our deprived estates but money was poured into council coffers and they decided what was best for the estates not really the people who lived on them.
It was jobs for the council boys and girls to have well paid jobs to get people back into work but the jobs were simply not there in the public sector these jobs were already taken so they got people to work within these departments for short periods of time 6-12 months on a another job promise that Governments brought out. What was needed was full time quality jobs and we do have people who work **** hard on our deprived estates not all are on benefits. We lived on postcodes that employers thought we were not good enough for the jobs because of were we lived. I very much respect your comment and that's what so good about these issues we can all agree to disagree. Have a nice Easter Holiday.
With respect to Voice of Reality we have to agree to disagree. In the 70s a Conservative minister think it was Nigel Lawson who said unemployment is a price worth paying. Money has been greatly wasted I do agree on our deprived estates but money was poured into council coffers and they decided what was best for the estates not really the people who lived on them. It was jobs for the council boys and girls to have well paid jobs to get people back into work but the jobs were simply not there in the public sector these jobs were already taken so they got people to work within these departments for short periods of time 6-12 months on a another job promise that Governments brought out. What was needed was full time quality jobs and we do have people who work **** hard on our deprived estates not all are on benefits. We lived on postcodes that employers thought we were not good enough for the jobs because of were we lived. I very much respect your comment and that's what so good about these issues we can all agree to disagree. Have a nice Easter Holiday. Ron Carter-Bonsteel
  • Score: 3

8:38pm Sat 19 Apr 14

diga says...

From speaking to people where I work, I've found the people who truly struggle are single people on JSA or a single person working.....
From speaking to people where I work, I've found the people who truly struggle are single people on JSA or a single person working..... diga
  • Score: 5

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