20th May 2022

The last two years have held many challenges for us as a foodbank, and we’ve worked hard to support a growing number of clients across Uttlesford. However, against a backdrop of the rising cost of living, we’re asking our community to join us in signing the Cost of Living Petition.

Supporting A Growing Need

The current crisis doesn’t sit in isolation. The first Covid lockdown in March 2020 saw a rapid increase in people needing to use Uttlesford foodbank.  The number of people supported by us rose from 244 people in March 2020 to 400 people the following month.  This sudden spike was unprecedented and while this number gradually reduced over the next 24 months, we saw a further spike in April 2022, when the number of people supported by us jumped from 285 in March 2022 to 372 the following month.

The Personal Impact of Rising Costs

We are hearing from our clients how hard it is for them to cover their essential living costs.  Some clients have commented they feel like they are being punished because it doesn’t matter how hard they try they are still struggling to make ends meet. The rapid increase in fuel prices has been difficult for many families to absorb into their household budget.  The cost of basic food items has increased more than luxury food items, so those on a low income feel the squeeze even more. Low-paid jobs, zero-hours contracts and the benefit system are not keeping up with the rate of inflation and do not reflect the real cost of living.  For some people regardless of how careful they are with their money, it is no longer possible to cover all their essential costs.  There is a real danger this may drive them to take on debt which will only make things worse.

For households that are struggling now the future also looks bleak. The anticipated fuel price rises in the Autumn will come at a time when heating is usually turned on and predictions suggest that inflation will also continue to rise.

Show Your Support

Because of our concerns and fears for people on low incomes Uttlesford Foodbank, in conjunction with Trussell Trust, Independent Food Aid Network and Feeding Britain Network are asking the UK Government to urgently increase benefit payments by at least 7% to keep pace with inflation.  Please join us in showing your support by signing and sharing this petition.

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