FOOD banks across the area have seen a steep rise in demand as people struggle to make ends meet.
The Trussell Trust, which operates food banks in Southsea, Chichester and Bognor Regis, says it has seen an increase in the numbers of people coming in for basic food provisions.
Sue Dovey, chief executive of Community Action Hampshire, said: ‘It is not just people on benefits using Hampshire’s food banks, but increasingly low-income working families.
‘Many food bank users are using the service because of job losses, cuts in hours, or having to take on part-time jobs instead of full-time employment.
‘In a relatively prosperous area like Hampshire, hardship is often hidden, masked by a picture of overall affluence and broad brush statistics which don’t give away the stories of hardship faced by individual families.’
Research also showed that food banks support people who are waiting for benefit payments to come through. It showed that most food banks see an increase in demand at the start of the school holidays, when families can’t rely on children having a free school meal.
Access to food banks can be difficult for people living in rural areas if there is no delivery service and transport is a problem.
To find out more about The Trussell Trust and how to donate visit trusselltrust.org.