BARNSLEY Foodbank Partnership delivered food parcels to almost 2,000 children in just ten months this year, shock new figures have revealed.
The foodbank, which supports residents in need across the borough, fed a total of 5,675 people from January to October 1,983 of those were children.
They’re now appealing for more donations as they head into the festive period asking for items such as tinned food and long-life milk.
The shocking new figures are much higher than from March 2019 to March 2020 when a total of 4,865 people were fed by the Barnsley Foodbank Partnership 3,052 adults and 1,813 children.
The year after, from March 2020 to March 2021, saw an almost 50 per cent increase as almost 7,000 people were fed 4,269 adults and 2,729 children.
Leaders at the foodbank are also concerned that the winter will continue to see requests for help rise due to the government’s decision to axe Universal Credit claimants’ £20-per-week uplift in payments.
A spokesperson added: “Over the winter, we expect our food parcel requests to rise.
“Your donations help us in supplying individuals in crisis with an emergency food parcel.”
Food poverty is extremely high in Barnsley and the town is one of the worst-hit places in Yorkshire when it comes to its residents going hungry.
A study from the University of Sheffield highlighted that 11 per cent of the population in Barnsley equivalent to more than 26,000 people described themselves as ‘hungry’.
Barnsley was in the top 20 per cent of local authority areas with the highest percentage of adults going hungry.
Prolonged school closures were out forward for the reason for the stark rise in food parcels, with more than 7,700 children eligible for free school meals.
Organisations like Fareshare and Barnsley Foodbank Partnership, run by the Trussell Trust, work to stop hunger in the local area.
Fareshare, which has its South Yorkshire base at Aldham Industrial Estate, Wombwell, said the amount of food provided 155 tonnes between April 2020 and April 2021 was equivalent to 369,796 meals.
Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis said: “I’d like to commend the Barnsley Foodbank Partnership for their sterling work distributing food parcels to families in need this year.
“Massive thanks must go to all of the volunteers who made this possible.
“It is, however, a shocking and shameful indictment on our society that foodbanks are needed to prevent hard-up families from falling through the cracks in the Welfare State.”