Fewer food parcels have been handed out in Bolton despite a record-breaking summer across England – however, one Bolton homelessness organisation said they are seeing an increased number of people.

New figures show fewer food parcels were handed out in Bolton between April and September than in the same period the year before.

Figures from the Trussell Trust show 1,370 emergency food parcels were handed out between April and September across two food banks in Bolton.

This is a fall from 1,679 during the same period a year before.

The trust's figures show 593 of this summer's food parcels in Bolton were for children.

Across the UK, a record of nearly 1.5 million parcels were distributed – 200,000 more than in the summer of 2022.

These figures cover parcels handed out by the charity itself, but do not include emergency food supplies provided by other organisations.

In addition, falls in some areas could be explained by some centres failing to submit data, or provision shifting to other food banks in the area.

Billa Ahmed, co-founder of Bolton’s Homeless Aid UK said the situation for them has actually increased, with more people accessing help more than ever before.

He said: “In regard to the figures, for us it has been the opposite, we’ve actually given a lot more food parcels out this year than we did last year.

“I would say the figures for us are up by about 30 per cent, I think it differs from who people go to and what the criteria is to actually get food parcels.

“Ours is quite easily accessible and we are working with a lot of different organisations as well.

“There are quite a few independent food banks in Bolton and I’m not sure what their criteria’s are or what the situation is like for them but for us we have seen a 30 per cent increase rather than decline and this week or two it has been quiet because people have received this cost-of-living payment but now it has started picking back up again.

“But we haven’t seen a decrease, we have seen an increase.”

The Trussell Trust, which helps run more than 1,500 food banks across the UK, has described the record-breaking demand for essentials across the country as "extremely alarming".

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: "An increasing number of children are growing up in families facing hunger, forced to turn to food banks to survive.

"A generation is growing up believing that it’s normal to see a food bank in every community. This is not right.

“Rising hunger and hardship have devastating consequences for individuals and our communities, damage the nation’s health and hold back our economy.

"People in work, as well as people who cannot work, are increasingly being pushed into debt and forced to turn to a food bank to survive."

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "There are 1.7 million fewer people in absolute poverty than in 2010, but we know some families are struggling, which is why we are providing a record support package worth £3,300 per household.

"This includes the latest cost of living payments paid directly to over eight million households this year, our decision to raise benefits by over 10 per cent earlier this year and our £2 billion Household Support Fund which is helping people to buy essentials."

They added the Government is aiming to get more people into work through investment and increasing the national living wage.

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