FOODBANK usage across the Stroud district is 'at an all time-high'. 

Figures from Stroud District Foodbank show that they provided 8,663 emergency parcels over the last year, a 77 per cent increase compared to the previous year. 

This comes as between April 2022 and March 2023, foodbanks in the Trussell Trust network distributed nearly 3 million emergency food parcels nationwide. 

Despite the national problems, Dr Simon Opher, Labour’s  parliamentary candidate for the constituency, says the Stroud district has a 'particular food crisis'. 

He said: "People across the Stroud district are being badly let down by a government who should be helping them.

“Stroud has a particular food crisis.

"The foodbank are brilliant at providing emergency support, but they cannot address the systematic inequalities that people face.

"People don’t think that poverty is an issue round here, but it is.

"The fact that foodbank usage in Stroud is at an all time high reflects shows just how bad things are getting – and we know that they only help a small proportion of those affected."

Amanda Strover, Stroud District Foodbank manager, said:  "We are tirelessly working to assist individuals and families in our local community, but we cannot stand idly by and let this continue.

"We believe that everyone should have access to life's essentials. 

"Signposting & supporting clients out of crisis and campaigning for change are all very important elements of our work."

Together with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Trussell trust (who run the foodbank), are campaigning for an Essentials Guarantee within the Universal Credit system.

This would mean that the basic rate at least covers life’s essentials, and would also ensure that support can never be pulled below that level.

A Government spokesperson said: “We know people are struggling, which is why we’re providing record financial support worth an average £3,300 per household.

“On top of this we have raised benefits and the state pension in line with inflation, increased the National Living Wage and are supporting families with food, energy and other essential costs.

“We’re also bearing down on inflation to help everyone’s money go further, while helping millions more return to work with a £3.5 billion package providing more work coach support, more free childcare and more help for the sick and disabled.”