Foodbank hand-outs record

Gazette reporter Victoria Bull gets a taste of what the DENS Dacorum Foodbank offers as she volunteers at its busiest time of year. ENGPNL00120131216131837
Gazette reporter Victoria Bull gets a taste of what the DENS Dacorum Foodbank offers as she volunteers at its busiest time of year. ENGPNL00120131216131837

A record number of emergency food supplies had to be supplied to families by Dacorum’s foodbanks last year.

A total of 3,262 three-day emergency food supplies were given to local people in crisis from Dacorum Foodbank in 2015-16, up from 3,135 a year earlier; 1,312 of those emergency supplies went to children.

More than a quarter of the supplies (26 per cent) were handed out because of delays suffered receiving benefits, while 21 per cent were because recipients were on low incomes, and 12 per cent because their benefits had changed. Sharon Boyall, Dacorum Foodbank manager, said: “It is all too easy when you look at figures to forget the real people behind the statistics.

“One mum visited the foodbank after an unexpected serious case of sciatica meantshe had to take a couple of months off work. This coincided with an admin error in the payment of her working benefits, and the combination of these two issues, both outside of her control, meant she was unable to afford food for her family.

“That’s why the foodbank is so vital. We are very grateful for the ongoing support of the community, and hope that one day there will be no need for us in Dacorum.

“Until that day comes, we will continue to offer the best possible service to help local people facing a crisis.”

Dacorum Foodbank costs around £40,000 to run each year, all of which is raised locally. Over the last 12 months people have donated 54,171 tonnes of food.

Visit www.dens.org.uk