Food banks hand out hundreds of emergency parcels to hungry children in Mansfield

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The UK’s biggest food bank network gives 34 emergency parcels to hungry children each week in Mansfield.

However, this represents just a fraction of the 2,526 children living in poverty in the area, suggesting many more may be going without.

The Trussell Trust - which runs Sherwood Forest Foodbank in Mansfield Woodhouse and the South Normanton Area Foodbank – distributed a record 480,000 food parcels for children across the UK in the six months to September, including 879 in Mansfield.

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This compares with 317 children’s parcels given out in the area in the same period five years before.

A member of staff sorts through food items inside a food bank.A member of staff sorts through food items inside a food bank.
A member of staff sorts through food items inside a food bank.

Emma Revie, charity chief executive, said: “Children shouldn’t have to worry about the cost-of-living crisis, yet in the past six months, food banks in the Trussell Trust network provided more than 483,000 emergency food parcels for children across the UK.

People are coming to food banks telling us they are unable to turn the heating on and are skipping meals so they can feed their children.

Food banks in our network are set to face their hardest winter yet, as the cost-of-living emergency drives a tsunami of need. This is not right.

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“Food banks are not inevitable, and as a charity we campaign and push for the changes needed to ensure a future where they are not needed.

“But right now, we need the help of the UK public so we can ensure every person experiencing hunger is supported.”

In Mansfield, 2,526 under-16s were living in absolute poverty last year, some 12.2 per cent of the population of that age.

Absolute poverty means a family income is below the level needed to maintain basic living standards in terms of food, shelter and housing.

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In the recent autumn statement, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt agreed to increase benefits in line with rocketing inflation.

A government spokesman said it had also put in place other measures to support “households in need following the aftershocks from the pandemic and Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine”.

This included another cost-of-living payment in November worth £324 to more than eight million households, part of a £1,200 package for those on the lowest incomes.

Further payments worth up to £900 will be given to eligible households in 2023/24.

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With one in five people visiting a food bank coming from a working household, hunger is an issue that can touch all of us.

There is no doubt we are all feeling the pinch, but we are hoping that during the coming weeks you can spare whatever you can to The Trussell Trust winter appeal.

Across our family of newspapers, we aim to raise as much money as we can to support this vital charity this winter.

The money raised will go directly to food banks to ensure that anyone who needs a helping hand this winter gets it.

Your money will be the difference between a family in your community eating, or a family in your community going hungry. That is how important this appeal is.