Coronavirus: Bristol charity inHope expects food bank use rise

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image captioninHope said it is expecting demand to increase at its foodbank in East Bristol next year

A charity helping the homeless expects the number of people using a food bank to increase by a third next year.

Bristol charity inHope said it expects its food bank to support 12,000 people by March, having supported about 9,000 people since April.

Mayor Marvin Rees said the city would deal with the "legacy issues" of the coronavirus pandemic for years.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said a £400m package will support families into and throughout 2021.

Steve Baker, inHope's development and relationships manager, said its East Bristol food bank has "seen demand double this year".

'Jobs lost'

The charity's Wild Goose cafe has also served one million hot meals to homeless people in the past decade.

Mr Baker added the city and the charity will start the New Year with "many uncertainties".

"We don't know what the impact of the end of the furlough scheme will be, the number of businesses that will close and the jobs that will be lost, or how the end of the eviction ban will impact people who have been struggling to maintain rent payments.

"Any one of these factors is likely to increase demand for the food bank and tragically could result in people losing their homes," Mr Baker said.

image copyrightBristol City Council
image captionBristol mayor Marvin Rees said there will be "legacy issues" in Bristol with "major social, health and economic consequences"

Mr Rees told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) earlier this month "those who are the most marginal to the economy" are at risk of "falling through the cracks in government support".

A DWP spokesperson said: "We have announced a £400m package of support to help families with low incomes stay warm and well fed this winter and throughout 2021.

"This is in addition to raising the living wage, boosting welfare support by billions and introducing income protection schemes, mortgage holidays and additional support for renters."

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