DEMAND for emergency food from needy families has increased by 118 per cent since last year, new figures show.
There appears to be not let up in the number of Uttoxeter families in the grip of food poverty, the figures from the town’s Salvation Army suggest.
70,000 items of food are projected to be required across East Staffordshire for the coming year, which will require £300 to £500 of donations and food support per month to ensure no one goes hungry.
The charity handed out 48 parcels so far this year in Uttoxeter – up from 28 for the same period last year.
Parcels were used to provide food for 108 vulnerable people, including 45 children, who could have gone hungry.
Vic Wileman, of the Uttoxeter branch of the Salvation Army, said: “This year is exceeding the pace of that experienced during the end of 2013.
“Demand is now running at over double last year’s supplied food parcels, which in itself is double 2012.
“Our projections for this year envisage between 1,300 and 1,500 emergency food parcels, including tinned, dry goods and fresh items.”
So far in 2014, the Salvation Army has provided more than 13,000 items of food to 626 people – the same as 4,382 days worth of meals.
Referrals for January 2014 included 18 from Trent & Dove Housing, 17 from Uttoxeter Social Services, eight from the NHS, 26 from the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), two from Changes Uttoxeter and two from Art and Soul Uttoxeter.
Mr Wileman added: “Almost every church in Uttoxeter, and the villages surrounding Uttoxeter each have a food collection box, generating regular food contributions.
“Tesco Uttoxeter has a public food collection box and several local businesses, organisations, schools and individuals regularly contribute both food and financial donations.
“The holistic approach we undertake ensures that not only do we put food in the mouths of those in need, but also issues that have caused this situation are addressed.”