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Southend Foodbank in 2021

5th January 2022

In 2021, Southend Foodbank welcomed 2996 people who had been referred to us, giving food aid to support 8512 people of whom 3934 were children.

 

Southend Foodbank has supported more people every year since it opened, with 2021 being a third busier than 2020 and twice as busy as 2017.

 

To put those figures in context:

Every year the foodbank has been open, we have been busier than the previous year. Comparing 2021 with 2020, we supported around one third more people (2021 was 132% of the total in 2020), supporting an additional 2100 people with food. This is the single biggest increase in the total number of people in households given food by Southend Foodbank, across consecutive years, since we opened. However, this is the second time we have seen an increase of a third – previously, 2019 was 133% of the 2018 total. In 2021 Southend Foodbank supported more than double the number we supported in 2017 (2021 was 204% of the total in 2017).

The problems that lead people to need to turn to a foodbank were already at record levels before the pandemic, and although the number of people turning to the foodbank was relatively stable during 2020 this has once again increased rapidly, especially since the autumn of 2021.

Where people told us about the main reason for their referral, 65% mentioned low income, 8% said the biggest crisis they were facing was debt. Other reasons included domestic violence, no recourse to public funds, delays in getting paid, delays or changes to benefits, and homelessness. This shows show that food poverty is poverty – not having enough money to buy the basics you need to survive.

 

Looking ahead to 2022, we are committed to welcoming and supporting whoever needs to be referred to Southend Foodbank, as well as working towards ending the need for foodbanks.

 

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Notes

Southend Foodbank opened in November 2013. Since then, it has grown to cover Southend and Rochford with 8 distribution points across Southend, Shoeburyness, Southchurch, Westcliff, Leigh, Eastwood and Hawkwell and Hockley.

Every year the foodbank has been open has been busier than the year before. In 2021, Southend Foodbank had 3000 referrals, and gave out food to more than 8500 people including nearly 4000 children.

Referrals are made to the foodbank from a range of agencies, including Citizens Advice, schools, GPs and social workers, housing associations, police, and community organisations. As part of the Trussell Trust network of foodbanks, Southend Foodbank works on a referral model to make sure that people in need are connected with at least one source of support as well as getting emergency food. The foodbank also offers signposting to further help for people in crisis.

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