The number of Lewisham residents using the local food bank in the first two months of this year have increased by 66.3% in comparison to the same period last year, according to new data released by the Lewisham Foodbank.
The data, released on March 6, showed an unusually high demand in the first nine weeks of this year in comparison to 2022.
The number of people who turned to the food bank in the period to early March is 522 compared to 314 in the first nine weeks of 2022.
Lewisham Foodbank tweeted: “For the first time our numbers have been the same after Xmas as they were before. We are worried, tired & clients are desperate”.
In October 2022, the Trussell Trust launched an emergency food bank appeal for the first time.
They said on their website that the appeal was needed to help food banks with their “most challenging winter to date”.
A spokesperson for the Trussell Trust told ELL:
“Over the last 12 months, we have seen a significant increase in need at food banks across the Trussell Trust network. Food banks have faced their toughest winter yet, distributing on average more than 7,000 emergency food parcels a day as more people struggle to afford essential items.
“In addition to this sharp rise in need, food banks are also struggling with increased operational costs, such as rent and heating bills, as well as having to purchase additional food to ensure everyone can receive support.
“For these reasons, we launched an emergency appeal last year to help keep food banks open and we are extremely grateful to everyone who donated. To date, the Trussell Trust has distributed grants funded by this emergency appeal to support food banks with their operational costs and we are continuing to work with the network to provide additional funding as required.”