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Trussell Trust warning as food banks help thousands more this year

THOUSANDS more emergency food parcels have been handed out to people in the New Forest over the past year, figures have revealed.

Basics Bank in Lymington has given out 4,108 aid packages between May 2020 and March 31st – nearly double the same period the year before when the figure was 2,064.

Meanwhile, the Trussell Trust food bank network said between April 2020 and March 2021 it gave out a total of 5,635 parcels – 3,360 to adults and 2,275 to children.

The Basics Bank has seen demand increase hugely over the past year
The Basics Bank has seen demand increase hugely over the past year

By comparison over the same period between 2019 and 2020, there were 4,969 packages given out, of which 2,135 went to children.

The figures apply to the trust’s sites at Fordingbridge, Ringwood and on the Waterside.

Emma Revie, Trussell Trust chief executive, said: "This pandemic has shown the unexpected can hit suddenly, but we know when we push for change, united by our desire for justice and compassion, the government has to listen and act.

"We are asking you, the public, to write to your local candidates standing for election on 6th May, asking them to commit to working to end the need for food banks if elected."

In the BCP Council area, the overall number of aid parcels handed out by Trussell Trust sites increased, but the number distributed to children went down.

In total 13,845 food parcels were handed out across the conurbation between April 2020 and March 2021, compared to 13,793 for the same period the previous year.

This past year 9,592 packages were given to adults and 4,253 to youngsters. In the previous 8,740 were handed to adults and 5,048 to children.

Nationally, the Trussell Trust gave out a record 2.5-million emergency food parcels to people facing crisis between April 2020 and March 2021, of which more than 980,000 were to children.

Food banks in its network experienced a 33% increase in need and a 36% rise in parcels for children compared with 2019/20.

It warned the figures were an alarming 128% rise compared to five years ago, and it was the first time the number of food parcels distributed topped 2-million.

It was described as the "the tip of the iceberg" as there were many other community-based food aid providers.

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