Food bank usage is slightly in decline

Food bank usage in Strabane is slightly in decline.

THE number of people using the food bank in Strabane has decreased since last year – but only slightly.

Figures released by the Trussell Trust showed that between April 2016 and March 2017, some 823 persons (adults and children) availed of three day emergency food supplies from the local facility. Between April 2017 and March this year, that total number of persons went down to 737.

However across the rest of the North the figures make for much more troubling reading. Last year over 32,000 people received the three day emergency food.

Tony Graham, director of Northern Ireland for the Trussell Trust remarked, “Any decrease in the need for food banks, however small, is welcome. While the benefit freeze is currently ongoing in Northern Ireland, we hope the flexibilities and mitigations which support people on the lowest incomes are leading to a deceleration in foodbank use.”

West Tyrone MLA and Westminster candidate, Daniel McCrossan MLA says the widespread usage of food banks only serves to show that deprivation and poverty is rife in 2018.

Mr McCrossan said, “These statistics are worrying as many families and individuals are reliant on emergency food due to poverty and deprivation.

“The Trussell Trust is doing a fantastic job and I commend them on all their efforts. But this is a symptom of much greater issues facing the constituency. 

“I see it every day in my offices. People coming in with nothing and have no where to go. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find help for them.”

He added, “The people of this constituency deserve so much better. We’ve stagnated far too long with ineffective politicians making ineffective decisions.

“It’s time people stood up and challenged this mess that has been deliberately created.”

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