According to figures released today by Wandsworth Foodbank, foodbank use in Wandsworth grew last year by 11%. Over the past 12 months, 5,218 three day emergency food parcels were provided to local people in crisis by Wandsworth Foodbank, compared to 4,712 the previous year. Of this number, 1,897 food parcels went to children.
According to Wandsworth Foodbank, the local increase is “due to people struggling with continued issues with benefit payments, including the impact of the recent roll-out of Universal Credit; insecure and low-paid work; and the difficulty in accessing local government support when financial crisis relates to benefit problems”.
Commenting on the figures, Cllr Simon Hogg, Leader of Wandsworth Labour, said: “Wandsworth Foodbank volunteers do an amazing job. But it’s very sad that we need Foodbanks at all in our community.
“The botched roll-out of universal credit is forcing some of our most vulnerable residents into hunger. Instead of providing support, Wandsworth’s Conservative council is making it harder for people to access emergency payments.
“A Wandsworth Labour council will bring new values, based on fairness and common sense.”
Last year a quarter of those reliant on foodbanks in Wandsworth were children, this year that figure has grown to 36%.
In response to the findings, Wandsworth Foodbank, with Citizens Advice Wandsworth, South West London Law Centres and the Katherine Low Settlement, is calling for Wandsworth Council to deliver high-quality, ongoing support for people claiming Universal Credit locally. The four charities have launched an online petition and are encouraging local people to sign it to show their support.