Emergency food supplies were given to people in crisis by Bristols Trussell Trust foodbanks (North Bristol Foodbank, Bristol North West Foodbank and East Bristol Foodbank) in 2015-16, new figures have revealed.
Over 10,628 three-day emergency food supplies were provided in the 2015/16 financial year, compared to 10,605 in 2014/15. Of this number, 4805 went to children.
Over the last year, local people have donated 115 tonnes of food to Bristol foodbanks, and over 250 volunteered.
Local schools, businesses and faith groups have provided vital support to the foodbank, enabling us to give three days nutritionally balanced food and support to people in crisis.
As well as providing emergency food, Bristol foodbanks provide essentials like washing powder, nappies and hygiene products to families who are struggling, as well as signposting them to other services in the area including advice agencies (eg. North Bristol Advice Centre, Talking Money, Shelter, CAP Centres, etc). Many Trussell Trust foodbanks, including the Bristol foodbanks, are partnering with these agencies to provide additional services such as welfare advice, budgeting help and debt support at the foodbank itself, helping people to break out of crisis.
Stewart North, North Bristol Foodbank Manager, said: We are still seeing an increase in the number of three day emergency food supplies provided to local people in crisis - 3,663 in the last year in just the North Bristol Foodbank alone.
It is all too easy when you look at figures to forget the real people behind the statistics.
"Very often, our volunteers listen to stories from those referred to the foodbank that are heart-breaking to hear and have provide emotional support and encouragement, during really tough times. Thats why the foodbank is so vital.
"We are very grateful for the ongoing support of the community, and hope that one day there will be no need for us in Bristol. But until that day comes, we will continue to offer the best possible service to help local people facing a crisis.
The three Bristol foodbanks (North Bristol Foodbank, Bristol North West Foodbank and East Bristol Foodbank) are part of The Trussell Trust network. Trussell Trust foodbanks provide three days nutritionally balanced food and support to people in crisis in the UK. We also signpost people to other agencies and services able to help resolve the underlying cause of the crisis.
The Trussell Trust is a charity motivated by Christian principles that runs the biggest network of foodbanks in the UK. For more on The Trussell Trust visit www.trusselltrust.org
Churches are one of the groups which have been supporting foodbanks. To find out more about how your church could be involved, visit www.trusselltrust.org.