Send us news by text, start your message Star News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Number of people using food bank rises dramatically
THE amount of people receiving emergency aid from St Helens food bank jumped by more than 4,000 in just two years.
The Trussell Trust, which runs food banks across the country, has released figures which show record numbers in the North West using the facilities.
In St Helens the amount of people using the food bank rose from 700 in 2012/2013 to 4,762 in 2013/2014. Almost 2,000 of these children.
The data came in the same week the Star reported about concerns over the number of children arriving at schools without eating breakfast.
Dave Watts, St Helens North MP argued that the rise in the figures is a direct result of the government’s policies towards towns like St Helens: “There’s an awful lot of people getting caught up in the cost of living crisis. A lot are working as well as unemployed.
“The problem is with the Department for Work and Pensions who are in a crisis. People are having to wait for weeks to get claims processed.
“The Secretary of State (Iain Duncan Smith) denies there is any connection between the government policy and the rise in the use of food banks.
“He says there was a growth in food banks before and there was but that was for emergencies and for people who were outside the system.
“Now it’s routine for people on low pay and a lot are struggling to survive.
“It doesn’t surprise me that the cost of living is hitting ordinary people especially in areas like St Helens.
“With a higher level of poverty than the national average you are going to end up with most people affected. “