THE number of people using foodbanks in Trafford increased by more than five times in the past 12 months.

The figure was released by the Trussell Trust, the UK’s fastest-growing foodbank network, which also announced that more than 900,000 people have received three days’ emergency food and support from Trussell Trust foodbanks this year.

The news follows the launch of a food bank in Stretford recently, which was opened by the Mayor of Trafford, Cllr Dylan Butt.

Cllr Butt cut the ribbon to officially open the Barton Road centre, joined by prominet figures from some of Trafford’s churches.

Although the foodbank only opened this year, 311 people have already received food and support from the centre.

At the Trafford South Foodbank, 151 adults and 151 children used the Timperley centre between 2012 and 2013, 302 people in total.

This figure had risen to 1,794 the following year – a more than five-fold increase.
The Trussell Trust cites static incomes, rising living costs, low pay, underemployment and problems with welfare, as drivers for the increased demand.

The trust’s chairman, Chris Mould, said: “That 900,000 people have received three days’ food from a foodbank, close to triple the numbers helped last year, is shocking in 21st century Britain.

“But perhaps most worrying of all this figure is just the tip of the iceberg of UK food poverty, it doesn’t include those helped by other emergency food providers, those living in towns where there is no foodbank, people who are too ashamed to seek help or the large number of people who are only just coping by eating less and buying cheap food.”

A Government spokesperson said: "We're spending £94bn a year on working age benefits so that the welfare system provides a safety net to millions of people who are on low incomes or unemployed so they can meet their basic needs.

"Even the OECD say there are fewer people struggling with their food bills compared with a few years ago, benefit processing times are improving and even the Trussell Trust's own research recognises the effect their marketing activity has on the growth of their business.

"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.”