Image 1

Universal Credit ‘chaos’ leads to huge demand for Foodbank

Categoriesnews Benefitsnews, Communitynews

Image captionImage 1: Daphine Aikens, CEO of the Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank (far right) with volunteers and staff

The introduction of Universal Credit has led to a huge increase in the number of people struggling to keep fed and warm this winter.

“With the chaotic roll-out of Universal Credit, new benefits caps, and the cold weather setting in, more people are being faced with stark choices between heating or eating,” said Daphine Aikens, CEO of the Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank (HFFB).

“In recent months we have seen a dramatic increase in numbers of people benefiting from our food parcels,” Daphine added. “Almost 7,000 people have sought our help between 1 April and 16 December – which is nearly double the number of people who needed help during the same period in 2016.”

The rise has mainly been fuelled by government changes to benefits, among other pressures. And with Christmas approaching, Cllr Sue Fennimore, Deputy Leader at Hammersmith & Fulham Council, is urging residents to add a few extra essentials to their shopping lists.

“We’re working with the Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank to make sure everyone in the borough can have a proper meal and stay warm,” she said. “Until then, it’s vital that we support HFFB. Just small donations can make all the difference for families struggling this winter.”

Winter can be a stressful time for families, especially during the Christmas holidays, when children are unable to get free school meals and are no longer in their warm classrooms during the day.

Image 2
Image caption: Image 2: Daphine Aikens (left) and Kate Henshaw of H&F Foodbank

How to help

The Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank, which is part-funded by H&F Council, is most in need of:

  • Tinned fruit and vegetables
  • Long life juice
  • UHT and powdered milk
  • Tinned rice pudding and other desserts
  • Tinned meat
  • Pasta sauce in jars
  • Toiletries

You can find your closest donation point at H&F Foodbank’s website. The Foodbank cannot accept any fresh produce. HFFB has three sites across the borough and provides other vital services, including two Citizen Advice Bureau advisers who are funded by H&F Council.

You can make a cash donation to the HFFB online.