Foodbank boss calls on party's candidates for pledge on poverty - The Worcester Observer

Foodbank boss calls on party's candidates for pledge on poverty

WORCESTER Foodbank has challenged the city’s parliamentary hopefuls to commit to playing a leading role in tackling hunger if they are elected.

Manager Grahame Lucas has written to Worcester’s main parliamentary candidates inviting them to visit foodbank ahead of polling day and see first-hand the impact food poverty is having on thousands of households across the city.

In a letter to the candidates, Mr Lucas has also asked them to confirm whether they support foodbank’s call for an ‘essentials guarantee’ to ensure every household has enough income to cover the cost of the basics we all depend on.

Worcester Foodbank is also seeking a commitment from the candidates to fight for change and do all they can to influence government policy to bring about a reversal in soaring demand for emergency food.

Mr Lucas said: “Ending hunger should be an issue that takes centre stage at this election and yet we’ve heard very little mention of poverty and the struggles which have seen record numbers of people turn to foodbanks across the country.”

“We cannot keep relying on the community’s goodwill and generosity to feed the thousands of people who find themselves in crisis because they do not have enough income to cover the cost of essentials.

“We’re giving parliamentary candidates the opportunity to commit to play their part in setting us on a path to ending hunger.”

The city’s foodbank provided nearly 18,000 food parcels to people living in crisis during the last financial year having seen referrals to it rise by about a third – a trend that has placed enormous strain on its team of volunteers and resources.

In May, the Lowesmoor-based charity provided 707 food parcels – up 32 per cent on the same month last year – which helped to feed more than 1,450 people including 496 children.

Worcester Foodbank is part of a network of foodbanks overseen by the Trussell Trust, which is leading calls for the introduction of an essentials guarantee.

The Trust wants the basic rate of Universal Credit to be increased to a level sufficient to cover the cost of essentials including rent, food, utility bills and travel.


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