National rise in energy bills set to put extra pressure on food bank

The cost of energy bills is expected to soar by more than 50 per cent in 2022, having a detrimental impact on lower income families.

By Jessica Barton
Friday, 21st January 2022, 2:30 pm
Many lower income families will struggle to heat and eat in 2022.

With energy bills set to take up more than half the household income, many families in West Yorkshire are being forced to make the tough decision between heating or eating, a decision no one should have to make.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “People in West Yorkshire are facing the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation with rising prices, stagnating wages and inflation at its highest level in 30 years.

“The cost of heating our homes is set to jump by around 50 per cent - this is simply unaffordable for many households, especially those who are already struggling and having to rely on food banks to put a decent meal on the table.

Sign up to our daily Dewsbury Reporter Today newsletter

Donations can be made to The Cleckheaton Food Bank located on Mortimer Street.

“That’s why I’m urging the Government to act now and introduce a package of measures to help those most affected including scrapping VAT on energy bills.”

While many people in the community struggle to both eat and heat their homes, charities are also facing their own struggles providing the help needed.

A spokesperson for Cleckheaton Food Bank said: “So far 2022 has been even busier than 2021 and demand remains high.

“Many clients are reporting fuel bill costs as part of the problems causing them to use the food bank, some asking for food they can eat uncooked to save costs.

“We are increasingly finding clients are meeting up to save fuel costs (heating one house instead of two).

“One of the issues many of our clients face is a lack of security of income, and the irony is - so do we, the food bank.

“As the economic impacts of Covid, escalating fuel costs and Brexit are felt by the communities in and around Cleckheaton, we will continue to strive to provide help and support.

“No one should go hungry in the world ever, and that so many are right on our doorstep should be a matter of national shame.”

The Cleckheaton Food Bank team is asking if you have more than two weeks’ worth of food in your home, please consider donating to a local food bank. This can be anything such as money, food or time, so that those without can benefit.