Increase in number of organisations providing food aid in Cornwall

Families with children are identified as the most in need of food aid Credit: PA

The number of organisations providing food aid in Cornwall is nearly ten times as high as it was seven years ago.

There has been a jump from 20 to 180 groups dedicated to helping people in need of food products, according to figures.

These groups are often helping people alongside foodbanks, which are also seeing a rise in demand.

Since 2015 the number of foodbanks operating in Cornwall has nearby doubled, rising from 15 to 28.

In July 2021 Cornwall Council found there were 180 groups registered on its Help with Food map.

A briefing prepared by the council indicated that many of these are clustered around the main towns in Cornwall and a significant number in the west of the Duchy.

It added: "Camborne, Redruth and Pool have known areas of deprivation, and are also currently reporting high universal credit claimant numbers, suggesting residents may require greater financial (and food) support.

"Newquay is also currently highlighted as having high numbers of residents on Universal Credit and unemployment claimants, as well as lower levels of pay."

The Help with Food map shows where food aid is being provided in Cornwall. These range from foodbanks and community pantry groups to youth groups which are offering meals to children and young people during school holidays.

In Penzance there are nine groups registered and in St Ives there are eight. In Truro there are 10 registered groups, there are another nine in Newquay and 13 in the St Austell area.

The Trussell Trust, which operates a number of foodbanks in Cornwall, has said that there has been a 19 per cent increase in food parcel distribution in Cornwall between 2019 and 2021.

A Trussell Trust volunteer packing a food parcel

In January 2019, 5,051 foodbank parcels were distributed and by 2021 that had increased to 5,681.

Families with children are identified as the most in need with the number of children being supported by foodbanks in Cornwall rising by 30 per cent compared to pre-pandemic figures.

In January 2019, 2,881 foodbank parcels went to children and in 2021 that total had risen to 3,750.

Data from Truro foodbank shows why people are seeking help – between October 2011 and September 2012, 21 per cent of people said it was due to “low income”.

By August 2021 the proportion had increased to 66 per cent.

Credit: Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter