Cost of living crisis leaves more Rugbeians having to rely on kindness of town's foodbank

Low-paid work, the cost of living crisis and the £20 cut to universal credit are among the reasons Rugby Foodbank has given for an increase in Rugbeians forced to turn to them for food.

Rugby Foodbank. File image.
Rugby Foodbank. File image.

Last week the town’s foodbank revealed that between April 2021 and March 2022 volunteers handed 5,506 emergency food parcels to Rugbeians who couldn’t afford the essentials - of these 2083 went to children.

This constitutes a 4.6 per cent increase on 2019 – 2020, prompting concern among foodbank volunteers that the problem will only grow.

Adi Robinson, Rugby Foodbank’s service delivery manager, said: “There’ll always be a role for strong community groups looking out for their neighbours, and we're so grateful for the generous support of our volunteers and to local people who have donated to the food bank.

“The support we see across the community for people on the lowest incomes is incredible. But it shouldn’t be needed.

"We should all be free from hunger. No one should be pushed deeper into poverty without enough money for the things we all need.

"It’s not right that anyone in Rugby needs our food bank in the first place - everyone should be able to afford the essentials.

“At the moment the situation is only set to get worse, as this is just the start of the cost of living crisis.

"But we know what’s pushing people to need food banks like ours, so we know what needs to be done.

"People cannot afford to wait any longer for support – UK, national and local governments at all levels must use their powers and take urgent action now to strengthen our social security system so it keeps up with the true cost of living.”

Diana Mansell, chair of Hope4, which runs projects across the town including the foodbank, said: “Rugby’s increase is not as high as the regional and national picture, and we feel this is in part due to the pilot project have run in conjunction with our local Citizens Advice service whereby our clients can quickly speak with a designated advisor funded by the foodbank.

"Access to specialist advise about a range of issues including universal credit claims, council tax, debt etc has helped our clients to solve some of the underlying issues leading them to need the foodbank.”