Thousands in Gloucestershire turn to food banks after benefits problems
THOUSANDS of people in the county are being forced to take food handouts from a charity because of benefits problems.
Charity The Trussell Trust has revealed that almost half of the people who rely on it cannot pay for food themselves because of changes to benefits, delays in payments, or being refused a crisis loan.
The food bank charity said 44 per cent of its 6,000 users in Gloucestershire rely on its supplies because the benefits system is not helping them in time.
James Milton, regional development officer for the Trust, said the complexity of the benefits system means many people do not get vital payments when they need them.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"It's a complex system, the benefits system, and certainly for those with sickness-related benefits, the system has changed for them where they have to be assessed whether they are fit for work.
"That has put a degree of complexity into the system that wasn't there before and has led to delays for people," he said.
A Government spokesman said the majority of benefits were processed on time, and that the introduction of Universal Credit from October would improve the system.
From April, the government will scrap Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans, which often provide money for food for people hit by poverty, as part of changes to the Social Fund.
Instead, local authorities will be given funding to help those in poverty. However The Trussell Trust believes this will result in less support for people. A spokeswoman said: "With less funding available, the locally-administered replacements to the Social Fund are likely to help fewer people in need of temporary assistance.
"Foodbanks expect frontline care professionals to refer more people in crisis to them as a direct consequence."