New figures released by Callington Foodbank have revealed that 506 emergency food parcels were provided to people facing hardship across Callington and the Tamar Valley in the last year – with 322 of these going to support children.

Callington Foodbank has seen a 33% increase in the number of emergency food parcels distributed compared to last year. This is the most parcels the foodbank has ever provided.

Alex Polglase, coordinator at Callington Foodbank explained that the levels of need were particularly acute in winter, and January was the second busiest month for the foodbank with 54 emergency food parcels provided by staff and volunteers.

However, the busiest day on record was last month, where the foodbank distributed over a quarter of a tonne of food (270.8Kg) in just two hours.

This comes as new figures released by the Trussell Trust last week revealed that foodbanks in the Trussell Trust’s network provided more than 2.1 million parcels to people facing financial hardship across the UK in the past year.

Alex said: ‘Currently we are seeing a massive uptick in the need for foodbank services, this isn’t right.

‘People should have enough to cover the cost of essentials like food, household bills and travel costs.

‘For those on Universal Credit it’s made that much harder as there is a significant shortfall between people’s living costs and income.

‘As we see this rise in demand, we are also experiencing a drop in donations. With our stock levels slowly decreasing we are increasingly purchasing more to keep up.’

Speaking about the rising need for emergency food, Emma Revie, chief executive at the Trussell Trust, said: ‘These new statistics are extremely concerning and show that an increasing number of people are being left with no option but to turn to charitable, volunteer-run organisations to get by and this is not right.

‘The continued increase in parcel numbers over the last five years indicates that it is ongoing low levels of income and a social security system that isn’t fit for purpose that are forcing more people to need foodbanks, rather than just the recent cost of living crisis or the Covid-19 pandemic.  

‘Callington Foodbank was set up to provide short-term support to people in an emergency, they are not a lasting solution to hunger and poverty, and more than three quarters of the UK population agree with us that they should not need to exist.

  ‘The staff and volunteers at Callington Foodbank are working tirelessly to ensure help continues to be available, but the current situation is not one they can solve alone.

  ‘For too long, the people of Callington and the Tamar Valley have been going without because social security payments do not reflect life’s essential costs and people are being pushed deeper into hardship as a result.

‘If we are to stop this continued growth and end the need for food banks then the UK government must ensure that the standard allowance of Universal Credit is always enough to cover essential costs.’