Jersey's food bank users triple in three years as minister promises action

  • One food bank user opened up about their struggles to make ends meet during a cost of living crisis

Jersey's three main food banks have seen an "exponential" rise in users since 2021 and are now facing record demand.

The St Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army and Grace's Trust give those in need access to free food and electricity.

Figures from the last three years show that demand at two of the island's food banks has almost tripled.

One woman who spoke to ITV News anonymously has used a food bank every week for the last year and says it is a lifeline.

She explained: "I didn't expect one day to use a food bank. You go to the supermarket with £20 and once you've bought three or four items you've spent that straight away."

The St Vincent de Paul food bank has seen a rise of 168% in people needing their help since 2022.

Number of users at St Vincent de Paul food bank:

Sinead Wright works for the charity and believes the demand will continue to rise.

She said: "We've already gone through 50% of our electricity vouchers in the first quarter, so we're where we would expect to be in June and that's because of the rise in the cost of electricity. The demand is exponential."

Jersey's Social Security Minister, Deputy Lyndsay Feltham, has promised tackling the issue is one of her priorities.

She explained: "It's an absolute travesty that an island such as Jersey, a wealthy island, sees this amount of poverty.

"I am taking some time to meet with the charities that are involved in this and learn first-hand from them about the people using their facilities and the reasons why they're using them so that we can go to those root causes."