MORE than 4,000 emergency food parcels have been given to struggling residents across Basingstoke in the past year.

According to the town’s foodbank, 1,273 of these packages were given to children.

It comes as the Trussel Trust, who runs the foodbank, is calling on all candidates standing for election in Basingstoke to pledge to protect people from hunger.

The foodbank has been in operation now for seven years, and every year the number of people fed has increased.

The Trussell Trust recently announced that the need for emergency food parcels in the UK is at an all-time high.

The new figures come shortly after the Trussell Trust released ‘State of Hunger’, the most in-depth study ever published into hunger and the drivers of food bank use in the UK.

The findings revealed the average weekly income of people at food banks is only £50 after paying housing costs, and almost one in five have no money coming in at all in the month before being referred for emergency food.

As the election approaches, Basingstoke Foodbank is backing the Trussell Trust’s call for candidates on all sides to work towards a future where no one needs a food bank and pledge to protect people from hunger by ensuring everyone has enough money for the basics.

The Trussell Trust is asking our next government to end the five-week wait for Universal Credit.

A spokesman said: “The local increase in need for the food bank is due in the main to people struggling with low income, benefit delays and benefit changes.”

Last month the Gazette reported that nine homeless people died in Basingstoke and Deane in the past six years.

Office of National Statistics figures show that an estimated nine homeless people died in Basingstoke and Deane between 2013 and 2018, with three deaths in the last year.

Across England and Wales, 726 homeless people died in 2018 – up 51% from 2013.