Andover Foodbank have said they are “prepared for an increase in demand” when Universal Credit starts in the area in July.
The Trussell Trust, who run over 400 foodbanks, say they have seen a 13% increase three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis however in areas where Universal Credit has been introduced the average increase has been 52% in the twelve months after the full rollout date in that area.
A spokesperson for Andover Foodbank said “The Andover Foodbank has supported people in crisis for 12 years and given its maturity and established partnerships with agencies in the area we do not now see the huge growth and change in demand that new foodbanks see in their first few years.
“As such there is little change in our overall demand in the last year.
“Within this figure there is some change in the specific reasons for referrals. Financial hardship is the main reason why clients seek help. This can be caused by benefit changes and delays or by low income.
“We have not seen a significant change in referrals because of benefit changes or delays but we are prepared for an increase in demand from July as Universal Credit is introduced in our area. We are aware of an increase in the number of referrals caused by low income.”
Emma Revie, Chief Executive of The Trussell Trust, said “As a nation we expect no one should be left hungry or destitute – illness, disability, family breakdown or the loss of a job could happen to any of us, and we owe it to each other to make sure sufficient financial support is in place when we need it most.
“It’s hard to break free from hunger if there isn’t enough money coming in to cover the rising cost of absolute essentials like food and housing. For too many people staying above water is a daily struggle. It’s completely unacceptable that anyone is forced to turn to a foodbank as a result.
“Universal Credit is the future of our benefits system. It’s vital we get it right, and ensure levels of payment keep pace with the rising cost of essentials, particularly for groups of people we know are already more likely to need a foodbank – disabled people, people dealing with an illness, families with children and single parents.”
Andover Foodbank can be found online at https://andover.foodbank.org.uk/.