Steep rise in demand at Doncaster food bank due to 'scary' cost of living crisis

Doncaster food banks have seen an increase in demand following a “scary” rise in the cost of living.

By Jack O'Connor
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 12:18 pm

It has resulted in people who have not visited food banks before suddenly becoming “plunged into the system”, according to John Parr, project manager at Doncaster Foodbank.

Mr Parr insisted that although the increase in demand has come at a time when the number of visitors usually drops off, the towns food banks can cope with the pressure.

He said: “We’re lucky we’ve got plenty of food and people are really generous with donations.

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Doncaster Foodbank has seen a steep increase in users during the cost of living crisis.

“Normally we’re busiest around Christmas and then around now the demand usually dips off but this year it’s different – we’re getting busier now.”

“We can cope with the demand because we’ve got a great volunteering team, if things do keep going the way they are and we find we’ve got increased demand, we’ll be able to cope.

Mr Parr believes the government’s response to helping people survive with the rising cost of living has not been enough.

He said: “It’s really difficult to see so many people who haven’t necessarily accessed the food bank before having to come into the system, being plunged into this difficult situation.

“The government has tried to take steps to alleviate things for people, but their recent announcements just do not go far enough.

“There’s been nothing mentioned about universal credit, the fundamental issue is that people in the benefit system just don’t have enough to live on.

As pressure mounts, volunteers from Doncaster have come out in force, leaving the towns food banks with a healthy number of helpers.

“We’re seeing on a daily basis, that people in and especially out of work just cant cope.

“People have to get a food voucher to visit the food bank and we’re looking at upwards of 30 vouchers each two-hour session we’re open and that doesn’t sound a lot at first, but one voucher could be feeding a whole family of seven or eight.”

“It’s really hard to predict how the demand will change, it’s a scary time for people but fortunately we’ve noticed a rise in interest from people helping out who have seen the news about rising cost of living, which is fantastic.