On Tuesday 26th July, ITV News West Country ran a story on the cost of living crisis and the increasing demand on foodbanks in the Cotswolds. Both Cirencester and Winchcombe foodbanks featured in the report. There was an interview with Councillor Joe Harris, leader of Cotswold District Council, who said that the Council had voted to declare a “cost of living crisis”. The council are now looking at what support they can offer to those in hardship, whether that be some kind of financial aid or working with other partners, such as foodbanks, to see how they can best support Cotswold residents.
Anton Wynn, of Cirencester Foodbank, said that they were seeing an increase in people turning to the foodbank, not only of typical clients, such as those struggling to manage on benefits, but also people like NHS workers or social care workers, who would normally refer clients to them, now needing help themselves.
ITV also filmed at our centre in Winchcombe inside Encounter Church at the afternoon session there. The piece showed examples of food waiting to be packed into emergency food parcels and included some of the Winchcombe volunteers at work. One of our clients was interviewed and described why she needed to use our foodbank. Kevin Carden, project manager for North Cotswold Foodbank, was also interviewed, saying that some people had to make choices about what they could afford to pay for and what they couldn’t. They would turn to the foodbank when they found that they can’t afford to feed themselves and their families.