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Trussell Trust research on foodbank usage over school holidays

(127 Posts)
AliceDMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 26-Jul-17 12:18:32


The Trussell Trust have been in touch about their recent research which shows a rise in the number of children being fed by foodbanks over the summer holidays, with 4,412 more three day emergency food supplies being given to children in July and August 2016 than in the previous two months.

Between July and August 2016, of all 67,506 three day emergency food supplies from The Trussell Trust foodbank network that went to children,

27% went to 0-4 year olds

47% went to 5-11 year olds

21% went to 12-16 year olds

5% went to children of an unknown age.

The new figures come as The Trussell Trust launches its national Summer Appeal and encourages people to donate to their local foodbank as the school holidays start.

We at Mumsnet HQ sometimes get asked what Mumsnet users think about families using foodbanks, and about our users' experiences of using them themselves, so do please let us know what you think. Do you have experience of using foodbanks to feed yourself and/or your family?


BubblesBuddy Wed 26-Jul-17 12:44:38

Free school meals are not available in the holidays so the food banks step in. This is hardly a surprising development.

MrsOverTheRoad Thu 27-Jul-17 05:30:45

Bubbly but the RISE is worrying.

People should not be in this position. Being able to afford to buy basic food for your family is a human right.

Some foodbanks give birthday cakes and small gifts on children's birthdays. It makes me so terribly sad.

The national minimum wage needs upping NOW. Zero hours contracts need abolishing NOW.

alreadytaken Thu 27-Jul-17 07:46:40

No I have never used a foodbank. But I am a regular donor and I try to give more in school holidays because I am aware that other donors may be off on holiday and not give as much. I'm also more likely to put treats in now than at Christmas, I know my local area is very generous at Christmas.

It is a disgrace that foodbanks are needed but I'm fortunate that I can do something to help. Its also a a disgrace that there is a massive fuss about poor Charlie Gard while the needs of many more children are being ignored. Where are the hordes of peple complaining about this?

PhuntSox Thu 27-Jul-17 09:12:22

It's very sad. Most worrying is the increase. It seems to me to be part of a general lack of care over the last few years, nhs staff and teachers are under more pressure and not paid enough, less pension for many, all these little things chipping away at us.

BubblesBuddy Thu 27-Jul-17 23:10:24

To be fair, children fed from food banks are not having their life saving equipment turned off. There is a difference.

Personally I would like to see far more practical help given to families who struggle financially. A relative works in this field but many more workers are needed. Sometimes sorting out family finances does help.

There are some people who like 0
hours contracts. They should be optional. Lots of people are happy to be on call or paid for the variable hours they work. It does not suit everyone and where certainty is needed, the employee should not have to be on this type of contract.

There are millions of workers under pressure and many earn low wages. My student DD worked for an American owned shop for a bit. She worked her hours until 11 pm. Then longer every night to put out the new stock. That was unpaid! Her hourly rate was therefore a lie and was very low. She often didn't get home before 1 am.

Nurses and teachers are on payscales with annual uplifts based on performance. No decent pension for shop workers either. I have a local government pension and they are generous. Also don't forget many private sector workers took massive pay cuts in the recession. Often 4 day weeks - 20% - was common. Many have barely got back to pre 2009 levels. Research does show private sector pay, when everything is taken into account, still lags behind. It is likely that these people are using food banks as well as those on benefits.

alreadytaken Fri 28-Jul-17 07:45:58

6 posts on this thread, 20 threads about Charlie Gard. The children whose parents have to go to food banks will, hopefully, not die of starvation but they feel hunger pains and are aware that they are deprived.

A campaign to reduce delays in the payment of benefits when they are denied or aganst the inappropriate use of sanctions would benefit many children but mumsnet, collectively, really doesnt care for poor children.

BubblesBuddy Fri 28-Jul-17 21:04:12

Lots of us have deprived childhoods. There is a way out but you have to grasp it. Lots of our systems are slow and it's not helpful to those that need help. I don't agree that this situation is comparable with a dead baby.

MrsOverTheRoad Sat 29-Jul-17 00:38:16

Bubbles not everyone is capable of grasping it...and really, not everyone has a chance to get out.

I read some research yesterday that said women from working class homes who were single parents and renting aged 26 were 90 times more likely to experience homelessness by the age of thirty...compared to a male from a middle class home who had about a 5% chance.

It's very skewed. A lone parent is very vulnerable these days.

BugLand Sat 29-Jul-17 17:06:55

I think you must be misquoting the stats you read, Mrs. 90 times more likely than a 5% chance would be a 450% chance, which doesn't make any sense.

Venusflytwat Sat 29-Jul-17 23:56:21

I guess there are less posts on this thread because statistically only a small percentage of site users will be foodbank users and, of those, only a smaller proportion still would be willing to broadcast that fact.

We donate to a foodbank every couple of weeks. I think it's scandalous that they are needed. I wish I knew the answer.

Wolfiefan Sun 30-Jul-17 00:02:29

I have never used a foodbank but do donate.
I saw a feature about a school that opened to feed children through the holidays. Interesting. Many schools now buy in food and haven't got kitchens though.

Venusflytwat Sun 30-Jul-17 00:11:43

There's a campaign to get churches, communities groups serving holiday lunches. I can't remember it's name....

AndNowItIsSeven Sun 30-Jul-17 00:21:38

It's makelunch.

annandale Sun 30-Jul-17 16:43:38

I haven't had to use a foodbank, thank God, and I haven't up til now donated via supermarkets because supermarkets making profits from purchased donations while simultaneously screwing suppliers into the ground and causing jobs in local shops benefiting the local economy to be lost makes me angry. I also think that the very existence of food banks in a rich country is so wrong that I don't want to support them.

However, in the summer holidays with food prices rising it is probably time to get off my high horse and help out.

annandale Sun 30-Jul-17 16:48:40

OK I've set up a regular donation. No disrespect to the Trussell Trust when I say that was one of the most joyless and bitter charity donations I have made. Basic food supplies for British children. What shame.

Spangles1963 Fri 18-Aug-17 17:51:31

I think the fact that ANYONE should have to rely on food banks in this day and age is simply awful. We supposedly live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world,and provide a benefit system. Something is obviously going terribly wrong somewhere along the line. For what it's worth,I am on benefits myself,I'm quite badly disabled and receive ESA and DLA. I only have myself to think about,no dependents any more (unless you count a cat!) and thankfully I have never come anywhere near to having to use a food bank. I certainly don't count myself as well off by a long stretch,I get by. I cannot begin to imagine the level of poverty that someone would have to be in to have to rely on a food bank. My heart goes out to them.

BubblesBuddy Sat 19-Aug-17 18:59:49

Do we actually know how many people are relying on food banks week in, week out? Do we know how many people use them occasionally due to a short-term financial crisis? Do we know how many people completely mismanage their money and decide that using a food bank is a good idea but still have money for cigarettes, drugs, drink, Sky etc? We do not. It would be far more sensible to give food to those who need it rather than just provide it.

Lots of people who live rurally couldn't even afford to get to a food bank! How do the rural poor manage?

ladybirdsarelovely33 Sat 19-Aug-17 20:51:27

Our church's Foodbank definitely needs more donations over the summer holidays. Also our local Make Lunch club which operates over the holidays is very busy giving lunch providing a good meal and activities for children who normally receive free school meals.

Idoneapoo Sat 19-Aug-17 22:11:23

I`ve used food banks several times over the years when I`ve been in dire need. It's been a sad,humiliating experience mostly. The volunteers are unfailingly kind, cheery and compassionate but ultimately you're being given a handout in a church hall like one of the `poor of the parish`. I`ve been very grateful for the help but the stigma and shame you experience from within is very difficult to deal with. You have to listen to people who have no idea how painful real hunger actually is passing judgement on your (perceived) lifestyle and circumstances. Anyone else remember Edwina Currie`s comments about biscuits when she visited a food bank? Like a reverse Marie-Antoinette, how dare the poor eat biscuits!
It's heartening that our communities rally around to help those in need, but I wish they'd go one step further to educate themselves on why such a rich country needs food banks in the first place and challenge those whose policies have created such an increased need for them.

BamburyFuriou3 Sat 19-Aug-17 22:22:41

I've never used a foodbank but came close last year when DH was made redundant, then nearly died due to sepsis just before I had dc3 - and he took months to recover.

I usually donate every week, but can't afford to this summer holidays as my own children who get free school meals are being totally fed by me, so our food bill has almost doubled! So there is that to consider - that maybe fewer people can afford to donate during the holidays as their own food expenses go up...

TitsalinaBumSquash Sat 19-Aug-17 22:40:56

I haven't used a FB but if I knew it was there when I was in extreme dire straits I would have!
I always donate a bag full of chopping when they're in our local Tesco. They're not always there though and I just can't get to the actual donation centre any other time otherwise I would do it every week.

I follow Jamie Oliver on Facebook and he dared to suggest the the government found a way to fund schools and make it compulsory that the building was open for breakfast/lunch in the holidays for children on FSM, he got flamed so hard by a lot of people who were horrified that people wouldn't feed their own kids so really we also need a lot more education because there is a real stigma attached to FSM and food banks that is not ok.

AdoraBell Sun 20-Aug-17 10:37:14

ananadale you can, if you want to donate, bypass the supermarket by the Trussel Trust website. I do a monthly direct debit but I think you can do ad hoc payments if that suits better.

And yes, the rise in use is worrying.

AdoraBell Sun 20-Aug-17 10:38:29

Oops, missed your second post blush sorry.

Retired65 Sun 20-Aug-17 22:16:48

For those who are short of money to buy food, this web site is very useful:

Thrifty Lesley - 1 person, 1 day, £1
or How To Feed Yourself For £1 A Day

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