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YMCA Gives Food for Thought

November 19, 2014

LOCAL charities have spoken about their work to support vulnerable young people following national coverage of the increasing number of referrals to food banks.

YMCA Humber and CARE NE Lincs work in partnership to help disadvantaged young people access food when they need it the most, in many cases because of the benefit system process.

New research conducted nationally by YMCA England, which was featured in Friday’s Guardian, shows that just under four-in-five (79%) of YMCAs surveyed across the country that refer young people to food banks were doing so because of a direct result of delays in receiving benefit payments.

Andrew Hornsby, Foyer Manager at YMCA Humber, spoke of the desperate position that some young people come to the Grimsby-based project in.

He said: “We often accept people as young as 16 years of age into our Foyer project and they have nothing but the bag on their bag.

“They have no means of income, so they have to submit a claim for benefits.

“That claim can take up to three weeks to be processed and that often means that the young person is left with no other option but to visit a local food bank, in order that they can eat for that period.

“It is different for young people at our Peaks Lane Housing Project because breakfast and dinner are provided there and they can always be opted in, although the charity will often shoulder any associated costs with these meals.”

Sarah Taylor, General Manager at CARE NE Lincs highlighted the increasing number of referrals the charity’s food larder has received in the last few years.

She said: “There has certainly been an increasing number of young people accessing our food larder in recent years.

“We work closely in conjunction with partner charities like YMCA Humber to help a young person through these trying times.”

For more information on YMCA England’s research into young people’s use of food banks, please visit www.ymca.org.uk.