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Friday, December 1, 2023

“More people are using food banks now than in first quarantine” says charity founder

One of the co-founders of a food bank in Bradford says more people are accessing food banks now than at the beginning of the pandemic and it is “just going to get worse.”

The co-founder and director of a charity in Bradford says he has seen a 25% increase in the past three months of families requiring a food parcel.

This coincides with the announcement of the 54% increase in the gas and electricity price cap by Ofgem. From next week, families and businesses will be paying on average £1,700 more on their gas and electricity.

This is coupled with soaring prices of petrol and diesel at the pumps and an imminent increase to council tax and National Insurance next week.

Abdul Satar says the cost of living crisis in Bradford is “just going to get worse”.

Abdul Satar, a businessman and the co-founder of Bradford Community Kitchen (BCK), set up the charity in 2017, to serve hot food, puddings, and drinks every Sunday to people in need in the community.

When Covid-19 struck back in March 2020, the trustees of the organisation came together to set up a food bank, delivering food parcels to people and families in need.

The charity, which was based out Millside Centre on Grattan Road in Bradford, has volunteers from many different backgrounds, and it has a 100% donation policy.

Since its launch in the spring of 2020, the food bank has delivered thousands of meals to people “of all walks of life” across Bradford District.

However, with the cost-of-living crisis firmly upon us, more people than ever before are accessing the BCK food bank.

Working families and individuals, people on benefits, and those out of work are all struggling, and Mr Satar believes it is “just going to get worse.”

Mr Satar said: “The food bank has seen a 25% increase of people needing a food parcel in the past three months, since when the increase to gas and electricity bills was announced. Working people are now accessing our food bank, not just people who are on benefits or out of work.

“With the increase in the price of food in the supermarket, everybody’s budgets are tight. Weekly, we are seeing about 100 people needing a food parcel and it is just going to get worse.”

Mr Satar added: “We are currently coping with the increase in demand, but we are struggling, though. There are some deliveries we have to miss. We get a lot of calls on a Friday of people saying they have no food in their cupboards, but we are fully booked at the minute.

“We don’t get any funding; we get our food and some monetary donations from our sponsors. We accept food donations from the public and we currently need non-perishable items such as pasta, sauces, tins, and eggs, for example.”

BCK Food Bank is accepting referrals for food parcels and donations from the public. For assistance, or to donate to the food bank, phone them on 07888693196. For more information, visit their website, here.


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