Food banks in Bournemouth have been under increasing pressure due to the rising cost of living.
Rising prices of fuel and energy means that families have less funds to spend on the essentials, and are forced to turn to the local food banks in order to put food on the table.
However, because of this the resources that the food banks have are diminishing, such as staff and supplies.
A volunteer at Lansdowne Church food bank (a branch of Bournemouth Food Banks), said: “We’ve definitely noticed a bit of an increase with families needing our support, and the rising cost of living is definitely to blame.”
Labour party analysis shows that online searches for ‘Food banks near me’ have increased by 250% regionally since March 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lansdowne Church volunteer backed these statistics, saying: “We have had a slight struggle considering the COVID-19 pandemic and then going straight into this cost of living crisis. However our supply of food coming in is good enough to support everyone we need for the time being.”
Winter is on the horizon, which will lead to people relying on food banks even more, due to them needing to spend more on energy just to keep warm in their own home, and with energy prices continuing to rise, this could be even more costly.
If demand rises too much, then food banks could be put under a lot of pressure, and could be at risk of becoming empty if too many families are in need of meals.
Although food banks are still currently operational, some are at risk of losing volunteers due to them needing to take more time at a paying job in order to provide for their families.
This could lead to closures if these trends continue.
The Lansdowne Church Volunteer added: “We hope to continue supporting families for a long time, but if we lose our supply of food and volunteers, and more people coming because of these cost of living rises, then we could be in a lot of trouble.”