Demand rises at city food banks


Micah Liverpool, the social justice charity based at Liverpool Cathedral, has seen demand at its food banks rise by around 40% since lockdown 

Micah Liverpool had to suspend its five community markets across the city which provided free hot lunches and sold surplus food at low cost as a result of the lockdown. The charity is now focusing on its two food banks – run from St Bride’s (Church of England)  Church and St Vincent’s (RC) Church in the city. Executive Director Paul O’Brien said the food banks are providing nearly 300 food parcels a week between them - around a 40% rise on the levels pre-lockdown. With schools and church buildings shut, supplies have fallen with the charity increasingly dependent on cash donation to buy food.  Organisations such as Feeding Liverpool – part of the Feeding Britain charity – and the Independent Food Aid Network have been helping them source funds and support but the charity desperately needs more, he said. He said he believed demand will continue rising as self-employed people who have lost their incomes run out of savings while they wait for Universal Credit claims to be paid. The food bank is also serving asylum seekers and refugees who are in temporary accommodation and cannot currently be moved.

“We are noticing now that there are people who were self employed and have lost their jobs who have made claims for Universal Credit but are seeing a five-week wait for their benefits. They have gone through their savings and are now starting to come in,” he said.

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