Conference highlights growing pressure on people struggling to get by

As one of nearly 1,200 independent food banks across the UK, Purley Food Hub is affiliated to the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN), which offers a range of advice and support.

Currently IFAN is helping the Food Hub and others to produce a leaflet detailing the support available in Croydon for people worried about having not enough money for rent and energy costs, etc.

Julia Lee, who heads up Purley Food Hub’s team of Client Support Volunteers, recently attended an IFAN members online conference via Zoom, where she learned that:

  • There are now more food banks in the UK than McDonald’s and Domino’s added together * see footnote
  • Earlsfield Food Bank said a 14-year-old boy recently fainted outside their premises – it turned out he had not eaten for several days
  • Generally attendees said they are seeing higher demand and lower levels of donations
  • Clients are returning more frequently and some people who had not been for several years are coming back
  • People are coming who have never used a food bank before, and who used to donate to the food bank but now need help
  • The quality and quantity of food available from FareShare has dropped significantly
  • Household Support Fund grants exclude people who are not online

* Footnote – Latest available totals are (click links for more info):

UK food banks (includes Trussell Trust & independents but NOT Salvation Army, schools, universities & hospitals)2,565+