As thoughts begin to turn to Christmas entertaining, parties and over indulgence, it’s a frightening and worrying fact that food banks here in Kent continue to see an increase in demand. Low incomes, changes to benefits, debt, and homelessness are some of the key reasons why, according to anti-poverty charity The Trussell Trust, which runs eight food banks across the county.
Here on our doorstep in Tunbridge Wells, Nourish Community Foodbank (www.nourishcommunityfoodbank.org.uk) fed 4,614 people in crisis in Tunbridge Wells and surrounding areas who were provided with three days’ emergency food – 46% were children under 18 years of age. This is a total of 41,526 meals between 1st April 2016 and 31st Match 2017.
Meanwhile, a new eating and shopping habits survey has revealed a ‘throw away’ generation with over half of 18 to 24-year-olds (43%) binning unused food at least once a week – more than double their counterparts in the over 55 age range, many of whom may have lived through the war and rationing.
The survey, carried out for Love Canned Food, an initiative to raise the awareness that tinned food is not only often nutritious but economical too, showed that older shoppers opted for a more ‘waste not, want not’ approach when preparing food – relying on getting imaginative with what they had left over or stocked up on to rustle up a meal – preferring not to throw anything away.