Church Action on Poverty

More people than ever are going hungry in Salford during lockdown, according to a national charity based in the city.

Church Action on Poverty focuses on tackling poverty across the UK but knows all too well the problems on its own doorstep.

Liam Purcell, who works for Church Action on Poverty, said: “There are some really alarming statistics about people needing more, people who didn’t before the crisis.

“Particularly in parts of Salford have been hit the worse.”

Due to the lockdown, food banks have seen their use rise to unseen numbers.

The Trussell Trust recorded its busiest week ever recorded delivering 50,000 food packages in a week nationwide.

In 2019 it was revealed that 52 per cent of children living in one neighbourhood in Salford were living in poverty.

Purcell said: “There are huge numbers of people going hungry.”

Church Action on Poverty started a Your Local Pantry initiative to try and combat this.

Purcell said: “We’ve got a campaign called Your Local Pantry, which when you pay a subscription fee of two or three pounds, you get entry to a locally run pantry and choose from groceries up to £15.”

He continued: “It saves families loads of money and gives them access to good food.”

Purcell also went on to encourage people to become a friend of their Your Local Pantry because it helps pantries stay open and stocked which is a problem for a lot of pantries and food banks that are struggling to deal with the demand.

He called on people to lobby the government to provide services nationally and to listen more to people living in poverty.

He said: “One thing we’re interested in is making sure people’s voices are heard, which can be difficult during lockdown.

“So if people have stories about how hard things have been they can get in contact with us.”

Looking forward, Purcell also said: “Carry on looking out for one another and carry on with that sense of community.”

At the time of writing, Salford has 864 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

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