From World Socialist Web Site: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/oct2011/food-o12.shtml
By Linda Slattery
12 October 2011
Hunger is on the rise in Britain according to some of the UK’s leading food charities, even as government austerity measures cut at the remnants of social services for the poor and working class.
The food charity Fareshare began life as an environmental charity against food waste but says it is now the plight of the hungry that drives its work. It has seen a 20 percent rise in demand for its services this past year. Fareshare redistributes food from manufacturers and supermarkets to charities. Food that is either out of date, surplus to requirements, or has package printing errors usually ends up in landfill sites. Fareshare redirects a small percentage of this food waste, 1 percent out of a total three million tonnes of waste, to alleviate the desperate plight of an increasing number of people.
The total number of people Fareshare feeds has risen this last year from 29,000 to 35,500.The number of homelessness hostels and drop-in centres that Fareshare serves has also grown from 600 to 700 from last year, and 40 percent of theses charities report a 50 percent increase in demand, which they are struggling to meet.
Fareshare in the town of Leicester, for example, has seen its food distribution rise from 41 tonnes only three years ago to 98 tonnes today. The Centre Project in Leicester, a drop-in centre providing hot meals, now feeds 70 or 80 people a week as opposed to the 30 or 40 last year. Project 5000 in Loughborough reports a similar increase in demand over the last six months. Also in Loughborough is Joseph’s Storehouse. The hostel for the homeless, run out of a converted pub, previously helped a dozen people a week. Now 100 people a week knock at its doors.
The Trussel Trust food bank saw the numbers it helped this year soar to 61,500 people, up from 42,000 last year. This food charity opened its first food bank in 2004 and now runs 100 food banks throughout the UK that distribute emergency food parcels to the needy referred to them by Social Services. The Trussel Trust says they are helping increasing numbers of 16 to 30 year olds. In fact, one-third of people now receiving food parcels are young people, due to the high rates of youth unemployment. In areas like Exeter, Cardigan, and the Isle of Wight as much as 80 percent of those seeking food are young. In Okehampton, where unemployment shot up six-fold, they are helping 200 people a week, up from 20 last year.
Continue reading at: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/oct2011/food-o12.shtml