A charity director has warned that going hungry is far from the only problem for people using food banks in Salford.
Dave Ormsby, director of Salford Food Share Network which links people in need with the appropriate help from a range of charities, says many families reliant on food banks are also struggling to pay their gas and electric bills or even clothe their children.
And many users of food banks and food clubs do have jobs.
Mr Ormsby said: “There has definitely been a proliferation of the number of food providers becoming available. In addition to [food banks], an increasing number of food clubs.
“If you look at the category of claimants who are increasingly using food banks, and indeed food clubs, they may be in work but are low paid.
“It may be zero-hour contracts or it could be short term contracts, insecure employment contracts in general.”
Salford has only recently become a full service area for the government’s flagship welfare policy, Universal Credit, but benefit cuts and delays are no the only factor driving people to use these services.
Mr Ormsby said: “There are growing numbers of people who are actually in work which isn’t directly related to Universal Credit at all, more so insecure work.
“Often they’re not accruing holiday pay or sick pay. You get quite a number of people who are failing assessments for employment support allowance and there are people who are on the two child limit.”
Let us remember on #WorldFoodDay – the UK is experiencing record food bank usage. The Trussel Trust reports a 56% increase in usage after the Universal Credit roll-out. This is callous cruelty from the @Conservatives
RT if this shouldn’t be happening in the 6th richest economy.
— Momentum (@PeoplesMomentum) October 16, 2018
Families who have met that two child limit are becoming increasingly reliant upon organisations such as the Salford Food Share Network to link them with charities who can help.
Across the two and a half weeks leading up to the new school term, the Salford Food Share Network helped 84 families find the right clothing for their children.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussel Trust, said in a press statement: “As a nation we expect no one should be left hungry or destitute
“It’s hard to break free from hunger if there isn’t enough money coming in to cover the rising cost of absolute essentials like food and housing.”