Cambridge Foodbank has just released its most recent statistics showing 4684 people fed by the foodbank in the last financial year - a big rise on last year. This includes 1650 children, which readers will find particularly alarming. Overwhelmingly the major reasons were delays in receiving benefits, low overall income and changes to the benefit system.
Daniel Zeichner met the organisers last week when they told him that 91% of people only received one package, and under 1% received more than three - very much undermining Government suggestions that foodbanks are somehow creating a demand! Daniel says: "The rapidly growing number of people turning to the Cambridge foodbank shows that life is very difficult for a significant number of our fellow citizens. Volunteers are doing an excellent job, but there is a real danger that the current Government will rely on this generosity to become a substitute for a properly-funded welfare state. Ill-thought through changes to the benefit system and very insecure and low-paid jobs are leaving too many people, including a worrying number of children, hungry in a very affluent city."