Cirencester Foodbank have released their 2021/22 Cotswold Food Poverty Report which details how the global pandemic, followed by the war in the Ukraine and rising costs in food, fuel and energy are affecting food poverty in the South Cotswolds.
For a decade, Cirencester Foodbank has been describing the growing issue of food insecurity in the South Cotswolds. In 2012, the opening of the foodbank was met with disbelief that there were people going hungry in the ‘affluent’ Cotswolds.
Cirencester Foodbank provided 4,473 three-day emergency food parcels during April 2021-March 2022. One half (50%) of emergency food supplies were for children aged 16 and under with three-quarters (74.4%) of this proportion being for primary school ages or younger.
Despite significant other provisions being introduced between 2019-2021, Cirencester Foodbank saw a marked increase in demand since the pandemic began, with need in March 2022 being 13% higher than in March 2019.
The report also found that school holiday meal referrals account for 23% of all foodbank referrals in 2021-22, which is only a 1.5% reduction on pre-pandemic figures, suggesting that the needs of school families are still not being met and more support is required to help them out of crisis and remove dependency on the foodbank.
Anton Wynn, Head of Cirencester Foodbank, said of the report and launch event, “We were incredibly grateful to Ingleside House and the Barn Theatre for hosting our food poverty report launch. The event was an important opportunity to share the challenges faced by households in the South Cotswolds, who face going hungry on a daily basis. We wanted to highlight the issues that need to be addressed through early support intervention, to ensure local people do not fall into food poverty. The report launch provided the opportunity to present our findings and we hope they are of help to the wider community, as we work together to end the need for foodbanks in the South Cotswolds.”
The full 2021/22 Cotswold Food Poverty Report can be found at Cirencester Foodbank’s official website at https://cirencester.foodbank.org.uk/