FOODBANKS are a ‘fact of life’ according to a Trussell Trust employee as numbers in Greater Manchester are set to rocket over the Christmas period.

Nigel Tedford, project manager at the Trussell Trust’s Stockport centre, says it’s a damning indictment of today’s society:

“Unfortunately in this day and age it’s a fact of life, it may change but at the moment it’s a fact of life.”

22,739 food packages were handed out from between April to September in Greater Manchester this year, with foodbank visitors at Christmas set to rise further.

“Well there’s no doubt about it that around the Christmas period that we see a rise in the use of the foodbank”, said Tedford, “Unfortunately there are very real financial pressures so what you see are more people referred to us at this time of year and we do everything that we can to help.”

Stockport saw the joint-highest number of visitors to foodbanks in the research carried out by the Trussell Trust, which Tedford puts down to the social make-up of the town.

“It’s systematic of the profile of the people in Stockport, it’s the third most polarised borough in the whole of the country, which means it has its extreme poverty as well as its extreme wealth.

“This then demonstrates that people need the foodbank because we’ve got these areas of high deprivation in Stockport.”

Although Christmas is a very prosperous time for the foodbank with people wishing to spread their festive goodwill to help out others, Tedford stress that donations are welcome all year round.

“Poverty and people going without carries on for the remaining 364 days of the year after Christmas and so we are doing it not just for Christmas but for the whole year.

“We want to make sure people have full stomachs all year round at not just at Christmas.”

By: Josh Garside

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