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Gloucester foodbank users can now get help with fuel payments

Anti-poverty charities are teaming up with one of the big four energy companies to help users. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Foodbank users in Gloucester can now get help with their fuel payments.

A trial starts today in a partnership between one of the big four energy companies and two anti-poverty charities, The Trussell Trust and National Energy Action.

Under the scheme, those people with a foodbank voucher could qualify for a £49 credit to top up their gas and electricity meter.

Shocking rise in foodbank use

Record numbers of people in the region are relying on foodbanks to feed their families Credit: PA

Record numbers of people are turning to foodbanks in the South West according to the Trussell Trust.

More than 100,000 food parcels were given out in the region last year, which is a 70% increase on the year before. The charity warns that figure is just the 'tip of the iceberg'.

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Foodbank use on the increase

Foodbank charity, The Trussell Trust says more than 45,000 people in the region used foodbanks in the last six months of this year.

Its figures show that the South West falls just behind the North East but ahead of the rest of the country in the numbers of people that use foodbanks.

The national trend is a 170% increase on last year. The issue is being debated for the first time in the House of Commons today.

Shadow Home Office Minister, Diana Johnson, wants the government to start an inquiry into the issue:-

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People in the South West use foodbanks the most

45,000 people in our region use foodbanks according to the Trussell Trust charity, which runs food donation programmes across the south west. The situation is being debated in the House of Commons today, 18 December.

Thousands of people in the South West are having to resort to foodbanks to feed their families Credit: ITV News West Country

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Foodbank charity in Salisbury sees biggest ever rise in food recipients

People are using the foodbank more than ever before Credit: ITV Westcountry

A foodbank charity based in Salisbury says it's seen the biggest ever rise in people using its service.

The Trussell Trust says over fifty nine thousand people in the South West have received at least three days emergency food from its foodbanks during the last 12 months, almost twice the number helped in the previous year.

It runs three hundred and forty foodbanks across the country, with nearly all the food donated by the public.