Food bank visitors hit five-year high

A food bank in Lincoln has seen the number of users rise over the past two years.

In 2018 there were 3,416 people who received help from the Lincoln Community Larder.

This is over a thousand more people than used it three years previously in 2015, when the figures were 2,181.

However, the amount of people using the Larder peaked in 2013 with 3,589.

The change in benefit system to Universal Credit is often quoted as the reason for an increased use of food banks.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said: “There were challenges with the initial roll out of universal credit.

“The main issue that lead to an increase in food bank use could have been the fact that people had difficulty accessing their money early enough.”

Joan Bennett, a Larder Trustee, said: “We were prepared that when the Universal Credit system came in it could cause some difficulties.

“We’re not surprised, in fact we did fear it could be worse.”

Last year there were around 65 people using the Lincoln Community Larder each week.

One food bank user who wished to stay anonymous said that using the food bank helps with “morale.”