A FOODBANK has issued an urgent plea for help and donations as it helps rising numbers of people in "crisis".

The Wyke Foodbank, which opened its doors back in 2015, has made the appeal as demand continues to outstrip donations.

Organisers say they are having to eat into stock reserves every week and have warned of a "worrying trend" of more and more children going hungry.

Foodbank manager Bob Moon said that it had seen four times as many people following the rollout of Universal Credit last July.

Last month, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd faced calls to halt the roll-out of Universal Credit, after admitting its introduction had increased reliance on foodbanks.

Answering questions in the House of Commons, Ms Rudd said it was “absolutely clear” there had been issues with the roll-out of the Government’s oft-delayed flagship welfare policy, which replaces a range of benefits with a single payment.

She told MPs that people being unable to access money after moving onto Universal Credit “led to an increase in foodbank use”.

From the January 1 to June 30 last year, the Wyke Foodbank received 103 vouchers, providing food for 223 people and equating to around 2,007 meals.


Mr Moon said between July 1 and December 31, those figures had increased to 305 vouchers, 815 people and 7,335 meals.

And between April last year and February this year, the foodbank gave out 10,098kg of food and helped 1,257 people.

Within that figure, 577 were children and 422 were under the age of 11.

The number of children the foodbank is helping is of particular concern due to the impact it can have on other areas of their life, including at school.

Mr Moon said: "They are disadvantaged from the beginning. If I was hungry, I would not have enough energy, my brain would not be working properly.

"Because they are in that situation, these kids are disadvantaged. We are now seeing whole families, because of Universal Credit, because of the rollout."

He added: "It's just distressing for everyone, it's distressing for us.

"They just can't believe they are in such a situation. People are in tears, they just don't know how they are going to make ends meet.

"They are just at their wits end."

Because of the situation, the foodbank has made the decision to appeal for help.

Mr Moon said an "unprecedented" number of people in crisis and needing help are arriving at the doors of the foodbank.

He added that community support has been "superb" and it wasn't a case of not getting donations, but that more people were having to rely on the foodbank.

The generosity of residents and businesses was highlighted last December when locals rallied around to help following a devastating break-in.

If you would like to donate, the Wyke Foodbank, at Blackstone Avenue, is open on Tuesday (11am-2pm), Wednesday (10am-12 noon) and Thursday (11am-2pm).

The items it is currently running short of are long-life milk and juice, tinned goods like fish, meat and fruit, puddings, instant coffee, pasta sauce, jam, toilet rolls, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant and washing powder or gel.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/WykeFoodbank