More food parcels than ever were handed out in Mansfield by a lead foodbank charity

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More food parcels than ever were handed out by the Trussell Trust in Mansfield in the last year, new figures show.

The Trussell Trust charity, a network of foodbanks across the country, said the rise is a product of problems with the UK's welfare system – not just the pandemic and cost of living crisis.

The charity distributes millions of food parcels across the UK each year.

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Figures from the charity show 5,705 food parcels were handed out in Mansfield from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023 in the area's two distribution centres – more than double the 4,212 in 2021-22.

Volunteers at the foodbank.Volunteers at the foodbank.
Volunteers at the foodbank.

This was the highest number of parcels provided in the Mansfield area since at least 2017-18.

Across the UK, a total of 2,986,203 emergency food parcels were given out between April 2022 and March this year – up 37 per cent from the year before.

Last year 2,068 of these parcels – 36 per cent – were given to children. In 2021-22 this figure was 1,472, at 35 per cent.

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These figures cover parcels handed out by the Trussell Trust, but do not include emergency food supplies provided by other charities and organisations.

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Sherwood Forest Foodbank is Mansfield’s Trussell Trust charity, running two sites at The Stable Centre in Mansfield Woodhouse and St Peter’s Church in Mansfield.

Keith Hadfield, a Mansfield volunteer, said: “Last week we issued 66 food parcels, we fed 130 people and distributed more than 1,000 kilograms of food.

“At the moment we are spending more than £1,000 per week on food in order to keep up with the demand.

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“We are always grateful for any food donations, but are also urging people to donate cash to us.”

Those who would like to support the charity can contact [email protected] for more details.

Emma Revie, trust chief executive, called the statistics “extremely concerning”.

She said: “The continued increase in parcel numbers over the last five years indicates it is ongoing low levels of income and a social security system that isn’t fit for purpose.

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“Forcing more people to need food banks, rather than just the recent cost of living crisis or the Covid-19 pandemic.”

She said foodbanks were set up to provide short-term support to people in an emergency, but are not a lasting solution to hunger and poverty.

More than three-quarters of the UK population agree foodbanks should not need to exist.