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There seems to be an avalanche of bad news about the cost of living at the moment, with even the Bank of England Governor calling food price rises 'apocalyptic'.
Here at Compassion Acts we saw the 'early warning signs' of this several months ago. Although the war in Ukraine has added to the severity of the food supply situation, it is a problem that has been coming for some time. Inflationary pressures on food prices and the worrying international news have reduced the amount of donations since the beginning of the year.
We have also seen an increase in Foodbank use (39% increase in April 22 compared with April 2021) and in the numbers coming forward for our Debt Advice, Fuel Bank and Benefits Advice.
"Its necessary for us to be realistic" says Richard Owens, CEO of the charity "the pressures on us in coming months are going to be intense and we need to plan. We will be here for people for their debts, benefits and food emergencies and especially we now have 5 Food Pantries across the area so our food supplies need to match demand. We intend to be smarter in how we manage food supplies and it is likely to include some bulk purchases and corporate partnerships."
Considering the gravity of the situation, staff, trustees and volunteers met this week for a Food Supplies Workshop, looking at how things are currently and what needs to change if we are to address the issue. Some of the suggestions: