Supporting food banks to help our most at risk residents
We're supporting residents who are facing extreme financial difficulties and struggling to buy food by stepping up our continuing work to support Derbyshire's food bank network.
It's part of our wider commitment to tackling poverty, supporting people on low incomes, reducing health inequalities and protecting the county's most vulnerable residents.
The rising cost of living, static incomes, changes to benefits and unemployment mean increasing numbers of people have hit a crisis that forces them to go hungry.
That's why we've approved funding from our public health budget to help Derbyshire's food banks cope with increasing demand.
According to national figures released by the UK's biggest food bank network, the Trussell Trust, the number of people relying on food banks has tripled to almost 350,000 over the last year.
And a government-commissioned report published in February 2014 concluded that food banks are 'consistently' seeing an increase in demand.
There are currently 23 food banks in Derbyshire and figures for Clay Cross Food Bank alone show that in 2015 it fed 2,557 residents compared with 944 in 2012 - an increase of 171%.
Not having enough to eat has an impact on people's physical and mental health and long-term life opportunities. This can lead to increased pressure on many local authority and health support services.
Food banks are invited to apply for a share of our ongoing funding to help them feed more people by buying fridges and storage boxes, covering additional volunteer and vehicle running costs and paying for training, administration and rent.
Food bank facts:
- Food banks are run by charities and non-profit organisations and mainly run by volunteers.
- They provide a minimum of three days' emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis.
- Most of the food is donated by local people or provided by UK charity FareShare which distributes surplus 'fit for purpose' products from the food and drink industry, including major supermarkets, to community organisations.
- To receive a food parcel, residents need to be referred to a food bank from children's centres, GPs, schools, the probation service, Derbyshire police or a range of other advice agencies.
- Derbyshire's food banks are in Ashbourne, Belper, Bolsover, Buxton, Chesterfield, Clay Cross, Glossop, Heanor, Holmewood, Ilkeston, Killamarsh, Langley Mill, Littlemoor, Long Eaton, Matlock, New Mills, Ripley, South Normanton and Swadlincote.
Our concerns about the increasing number of Derbyshire residents relying on food banks featured on BBC1's Panorama - 'Hungry Britain?' programme.