Food-bank usage in Brighton has risen for the 5th year in a row.
Organisers at Brighton and Hove Mission say the crisis is escalating. Project manager, Mike said: ”We have seen an increase in clients and it's definitely noticeable.”
Speaking of the causes of the problem, Mike said: “There is a lack of affordable housing in the city, that and the changes to universal credit means a lot of people are in a difficult situation”
Mike also said: “If I was a local MP, I’d be fighting for the people who don’t have as much in this city”
Brighton and Hove Mission are working hard to educate people on the way food-banks work, to remove the stigma around being a client of one.
Mike said “We are certainly trying to educate people, and I think there is a better knowledge now” he also said “People used to assume that food-bank clients were scroungers, but now they’re starting to realise they’re just regular people in a very difficult situation”.
Speaking to local residents the general feeling was that food-banks are good, but it’s bad that we need them in the first place. One local resident said: "I think we need to have a look at government spending"
Councillor Theresa Fowler of the housing committee said: “The problem does lie within housing and universal credit changes. There are plans to make more affordable housing available, but it’s difficult to come up with quick solutions for a problem happening now.”
It remains to be seen how the government will tackle this issue moving forward.