Gloria De Piero: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, how many food banks are supported by the Church of England in (a) Ashfield constituency and (b) the East Midlands.
Sir Tony Baldry: I understand that there are currently three food banks in the Ashfield constituency. Two are based at Church of England churches: St Mary’s in Sutton and St John’s in Kirkby Woodhouse, with the third based at the Eastwood Volunteer Bureau and is supported by donations of food and money from local churches. In addition, there are plans by St Thomas’ to open another food bank in the centre of Kirkby.
There are no data currently held on the number of Church of England-supported food banks in the east midlands. However, according to a recent national survey by Church Urban Fund:
81% of Anglican parishes support food banks in one or more ways: 75% collect food, 38% provide volunteers, 29% help to manage a food bank, and 21% help to distribute vouchers.
Of those that help to manage a food bank, just over half are Trussell Trust food banks, a third are non-branded food banks, and the remainder are organised ‘food cupboards’.
Nearly two-thirds of these food banks have been running for less than two years, indicating the rapid growth of the food bank network in recent years. These findings are based on 466 responses from Church of England incumbent clergy.
The Church of England has just started a one-year joint research project with Oxfam and CPAG to understand, and thereby seek to reduce, the long-term need for food banks in the UK, based on detailed data collection and in-depth interviews with food bank users at six food banks across the country.
Via: Parliament UK