Demand for Jersey food bank triples in last year

Over twelve hundred bags of food were given out between September and December 2020 - compared to just 434 during the same period the year before. Credit: PA

The number of people using Jersey's Grace Trust food bank has almost tripled since the end of 2019.

Measures to reduce the spread of the virus have forced businesses to close and, as a result, hundreds of islanders have seen either their pay reduced, or lost their jobs completely.

Between September and December 2020 1,212 bags of food were given out by the Grace Trust charity.

This compares to just 434 during the same period the year before.

Here are the figures for 2020:

  • In January 145 bags of food were given to 84 people

  • In February 133 bags were given to 88 people

  • In March 136 bags were given to 90 people

  • In September 271 bags were given to 118 people

  • In October 298 bags were given to 129 people

  • In November 329 bags were given to 145 people

  • In December 314 bags were given to 149 people

The charity says that 40% of the 315 people who used the service only used it once.

However 3.7% of the total used the service 229 times accounting for 14 % of total bags of food given out.

As well as islanders accessing foodbanks, around 400 parcels of food and basic essentials are now being delivered to people struggling to make ends meet because of coronavirus in Jersey.

Charities in the island are coming together to keep up with the growing demand, with deliveries now having to take place three days a week.

The effort is being coordinated by the Salvation Army, along with The Jersey Employment Trust, St Vincent de Paul, Caritas and The Grace Trust.

Richard Nunn from the Salvation Army says that more volunteers will be needed as the crisis goes on.

Islanders looking to volunteer where they can, are able to register to the website which is organising where people can help out.

The Salvation Army has also set up a JustGiving page so can people can donate to the relief effort.