Food crisis is getting worse

Rev Peter Brown and Annette Smith co-ordinators of the Morecambe Bay Foodbank.
Rev Peter Brown and Annette Smith co-ordinators of the Morecambe Bay Foodbank.

Emergency food supplies are being kept in a Morecambe help centre to deal with mounting numbers of people who can’t afford to eat.

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) said a rising number of people are coming through their office doors on Queen Street, desperate for food.

This shock revelation comes as Morecambe Bay Foodbank released figures showing that 2,822 people needed emergency food parcels from their Green Street centre over the past 12 months, 996 of them children.

The CAB also gives out food bank vouchers to clients who have found themselves in difficult circumstances.

“It’s quite shocking and it’s only this past couple of years that we’ve had to keep parcels of food,” said Helen Greatorex, operations manager for North Lancashire CAB.

“A lot of food parcels we give are for claimants who have had benefit sanctions.

“Quite often these claimants are disabled or ill.

“They have had their unemployment support allowance stopped because it’s been decided they are fit to work when they are not. They can’t claim Job Seekers’ Allowance.

“We have quite a large number coming to us because of the Bedroom Tax and claimants have to pay a large amount towards their rent. The rise in utility bills has also had a massive effect.

“Some of them haven’t got the gas and electric to cook the food that’s in the parcel.”

Annette Smith from Morecambe Bay Foodbank said: “It’s not a good picture. We’re running short of food. We’re getting new people coming through our doors all the time.” The Foodbank has given out 1,423 food parcels over the past year.