UNIVERSAL Credit cuts and rising energy prices will cause a 'terrible crisis' warns the city's foodbank as it faces rocketing demand.

It is feared the removal of the £20 Universal Credit uplift combined with rising energy costs and the end of the Government’s furlough scheme at the end of the month will put unprecedented pressure on Worcester Foodbank’s supplies.

Manager Grahame Lucas said they have already witnessed a rise in child hunger which has been particularly distressing.

Staff and volunteers expect 50 tonnes of food will be distributed to desperate families and individuals before the end of the year.

They have launched Every Meal Matters, an urgent harvest appeal for tinned food donations in a bid to thwart the threat of more people having to skip meals this autumn.


Already the charity is seeing rocketing demand for emergency food just days before Universal Credit claimants are set to see their payments reduced by £20 a week.

Grahame Lucas, Worcester Foodbank manager, said: “There is a terrible crisis looming for low-income households and we’re already seeing the impact at our warehouse.

“The rise we’ve witnessed in child hunger has been particularly distressing but by donating a few tins of food during harvest people can help us to ensure no adult or child we support has to skip meals.”

Research from the Trussell Trust found that 1 in 5 Universal Credit claimants are likely to skip meals when their payments are reduced from October.

But a crisis is already taking shape in Worcester with foodbank having fed 777 people during August – up more than 80 per cent compared to the same month last year.

It means volunteers are now giving out more food than they are receiving in donations despite taking in nearly 8 tonnes during August.

Low income remains the biggest cause of referrals to foodbank with a growing number of people struggling to cover the cost of essentials.

Volunteers are appealing to foodbank supporters to donate tinned items that it could run short of including tinned vegetables and fruit, cold meats, potatoes, rice pudding or custard.

It hopes to have sufficient donations to help ensure no-one is forced to skip meals due to the pressure of low income.

A copy of foodbank’s longer shopping list can be found at www.worcester.foodbank.org.uk