On Friday 12th April Barbara joined the foodbank collection at Tesco in Walkden to raise awareness and collect donations for Farnworth and Kearsley Foodbank.

The Trussell Trust, which runs the foodbank at Farnworth and Kearsley, has reported that between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2019 in Worsley and Eccles South 775 three-day emergency food supplies were given to local people in crisis with 393 of these going to children.

In 2018, foodbanks in The Trussell Trust network distributed 1,583,668 three day emergency food supplies to help people in crisis across the country. This is a record rise of 18.8% on the previous year.

The Mustard Tree in Little Hulton has been asking for more donations of food in recent weeks because demand is so high from local people who are in need. Barbara’s constituency office in Walkden has also been acting as a ‘drop-off’ point for food donations.

During the course of 2018, Salford Foodbank distributed nearly 5,000 three-day food parcels to people referred for emergency help. In 2019 Salford Foodbank has seen a 25% increase in people using the food bank between January and March compared to the same period in 2018. Unfortunately, Salford Foodbank is now facing financial difficulties. You can find out more about this or donate online at https://localgiving.org/charity/salfordfoodbank/

After 9 years of a Conservative Government, real wages are still lower than they were in 2010. The Government’s flagship benefit scheme, Universal Credit, has caused poverty wherever it has been rolled out.

Universal Credit was rolled out fully in Salford in October 2018.

The Trussell Trust has found that when Universal Credit goes live in an area, there is a demonstrable increase in demand in local Trussell Trust foodbanks. On average, 12 months after roll-out, food banks see a 52% increase in demand, compared to 13% in areas with Universal Credit for 3 months or less.

Barbara says:

“The Government must stop the roll out of Universal Credit. It is causing severe hardship for many people because of the major flaws in its design and implementation. Claimants are still experiencing hardship as a result of the 5-week wait for a first payment. A survey of claimants by the Department for Work & Pensions published in June showed that 40% of claimants were still experiencing financial difficulties even 9 months in to their claim.

“The Government has created this situation through its policies. The UK is the fifth richest country on earth, it should not be the case that we see rising poverty, homelessness and food bank use.

“I continue to support the work that our local foodbanks do to help local people and I encourage people who are able, to do the same.”

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