Recently, we asked clients referred to the foodbank to complete a short survey to help us better understand why people visit us for food and support and how we can begin to help them out of poverty.
We received over 120 responses in total, all of whom were very positive about their experience of using the foodbank, especially the way they were treated by volunteers and staff. We also gathered lots of useful information about the reasons why people were visiting the foodbank, the support they were getting from other local agencies, and any additional support needs. This will help us in delivering our strategy to tackle the underlying drivers of poverty, as well as meeting their immediate needs for food and toiletries.
The number of people using our foodbank is 85% higher than before the pandemic. Most of our clients are severely food insecure, with 88% regularly skipping meals. As well as needing food, the majority of our clients are dealing with a multitude of other issues.
Clients would like more help with energy bills (45%), affordable activities for children (25%), debt issues (22%) and access to mental health services (18%)
The 5 most common reasons why people visit the foodbank are
- Cost of Living
- Poor Physical Health
- Loss of Earnings
- Inadequate Benefits
- Mental Health Issues
Our survey reaffirmed that 10 years on, we are more needed than ever. We will keep doing all we can to help people not to need to use the foodbank because we see that when people are supported through projects like Epsom Pantry, the Poverty Truth Commission and the Support Work – change is possible.