FORECAST demand for food parcels in the Burton area is ‘frightening’, the boss of a group providing them has revealed.
Mick Cramp (pictured), chairman of Burton Soup Kitchen, said estimates suggested the need would increase by 80 per cent this year compared to last.
He spoke after collating the latest monthly handout figures for his organisation, the Salvation Army and YMCA.
These showed that last month they distributed 126 parcels containing 482 days’ supplies to 128 adults and 58 children.
“Saying we are a reasonably large town it does surprise me – but it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” said Mr Cramp.
“There are people who are too proud to come to us and some people don’t even know we exist.
“The projected figures from the YMCA and Salvation Army are frightening – nearly double or very close to it.
“This is because there are more people in the system out of work and what’s going to come very soon with the welfare changes and bedroom tax.”
Mr Cramp, who has been with the Kitchen for two years, said he had seen demand for the parcels grow in the past 12 months.
Regular recipients included vulnerable people with mental health, drug or alcohol problems, while others had ‘tried every possible avenue’ to improve their circumstances without success, he explained.
Some were on Job Seeker’s Allowance and others had had their payments ‘cocked up’ by the Government.
Mr Cramp said: “We should not be in this position where people have to rely on handouts. This is third world stuff.
“It should not be happening in our country, which people think is towards the top of the league.”
The parcel providers help people in an area stretching from Midway, in South Derbyshire, in the east to Uttoxeter and beyond, in East Staffordshire, in the west.
Donations are supplied by private individuals, including one who regularly delivers car boot loads, and moves are afoot to receive provisions from supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s.
Anyone who would like to make a donation can do so by visiting the Kitchen and Salvation Army from 11.30am until 2pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in Mosley Street, Burton, or by attending the YMCA’s Reconnect centre in St James’ Street.
Alternatively, people can contact Mr Cramp on 01283 520105.