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Local News

Foodbank use in Doncaster quadruples during Covid pandemic

today19/04/2021

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The number of people accessing foodbanks in Doncaster has quadrupled during the pandemic and services are being given extra financial support to help with the surging demand.

Statistics show foodbanks have seen a rise in demand from around 500 people supported each week to almost 2,000 over the period of the pandemic.

Doncaster Council bosses in documents said Covid-19 has ‘significantly affected individuals, families and communities’ across the borough.

Reports also show out-of-work benefit claims have more than doubled compared to the same time last year representing an additional 7,400 residents claiming in June 2020 compared to June 2019.

To get the latest email updates from South Yorkshire Live, click here .

Over 3,500 households accessed a council tax payment break during the pandemic and 1,093 households received food parcels from the council’s community hub – 2,897 deliveries in total.

Council officers have decided to award Citizens Advice Doncaster £134,000 to deliver financial resilience services across the borough and £100,000 to the Social Isolation Alliance.

Voluntary Action Doncaster will manage the funds from grants of up to £5,000 for the voluntary sector to be funded from the council’s Contain Outbreak Management fund.

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Vanessa Powell Hoyland, public health improvement officer at DMBC, said: “The current demand of food banks cannot be sustained and it is vital that we use this opportunity to strengthen the support offered to those facing financial difficulties, so that they have a longer-term plan and reduce dependency on food banks and government services.

“It is anticipated that the economic consequences of Covid-19 will continue to put greater strain on individuals and families.

“In an effort to provide more support to prevent individuals and families from accruing new or increasing their existing debt, it is proposed to use £134,000 funding to increase additional debt work and support.

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“Given the timescales, it is proposed that this is done through an extension of the borough’s existing debt support service at the Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB).

“Funding will support the establishment of a phone and web chat assessment service with volunteer advisors.

“If not awarded, there is a risk that residents will incur new and increase existing debt, with potential cost to the council in unpaid council tax, evictions, increased uses of services and greater demand on foodbanks.”

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Written by: Rother Radio News


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today19/04/2021


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