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Food bank shelves stand empty as demand surges – South London News

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By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter

Shelves in food bank warehouses are standing empty as soaring bills and food prices force more families to rely on hand-outs.

Alison Inglis-Jones, a volunteer at Norwood and Brixton Foodbank in Lambeth, said the rocketing cost of living meant it was seeing queues of people waiting outside before it opened.

Ms Inglis-Jones, who is also a Labour councillor for Clapham Common, said some people coming to the food bank couldn’t afford to switch on a hob to cook due to the surging price of electricity and gas.

She described instances of people clinging on to her in desperation – adding that the numbers of people coming to the food bank had ballooned in the last three months.

Ms Inglis-Jones said: “It’s really like a developing country. Particularly in the last three months there has been a huge increase in demand.

“I have people clinging to me asking for help. People are really desperate.

“We have queues of people. We open at 11 and at quarter past 10 we have a queue of 25 people and more people join after. I’m sitting with people who’ve done everything they can to budget and are running out of options. The cost of energy means people can’t switch on the hob. It’s not a case of choosing between heating and eating. People can’t afford to do either.”

The food bank, which is supported by charity The Trussell Trust, warned many shelves in its warehouses were bare due to the sudden surge in demand.

Pictured top: Lead volunteer Mona Boateng with another unnamed volunteer at Norwood and Brixton Foodbank in Lambeth (Picture: Alison Inglis-Jones)

 

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