Local Charity Fair Frome which is best known for running the local food bank but also provides many other initiatives including a Furniture Bank, Holiday Hunger, Food at Five, and an Assistance Scheme has spoken out about their concerns regarding the cost of living increases and the impact it will have on many people both locally and nationally. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that as a result of the increases 600,000 more people will be pulled into poverty of which one quarter are children. Fair Frome has been established for 8 years and in that time has hugely increased the range of services it provides and the amount of aid it provides. It has seen a sharp increase in demand already during the pandemic and a spike last September when the Universal Credit uplift ended. The charity feels though that the coming months will see an unprecedented demand for its services and fears that for many people in the town it will be a question of survival.
Bob Ashford Chair of Trustees said:
“We are deeply concerned about the impact that cost of living rises will have on many people in Frome who are already struggling to make ends meet with little or no reserves. The huge increases in utility bills, fuels costs, and rises in Council Tax with inflation running at 6.25 % and expected to rise to 7.4% in coming months whilst welfare benefits and pensions rises are pegged at 3.1% will have a catastrophic impact on local people and families. This isn’t shroud waving – the reality is that the highest increases are on the prices of food, fuel and electricity- the very essence of basic survival needs. With many people on low incomes also suffering health issues the need to keep warm and eat healthily isn’t a luxury it’s a necessity. We are seeing and hearing already from our clients of the dire situations they find themselves in with little or no reserves and bills they cannot hope to pay as they go forward. Our concerns are also that as demand increases, we are already seeing a significant drop in food donations and expect to see a drop in cash donations as well as these rises hit the wide spectrum of people who support us. We are already having to use our cash reserves to buy food to compensate. As a charity we do all we can to try and help along with other voluntary groups but we fear it won’t be enough. We have also been searching for new premises as our current building is no longer fit for purpose. That search is intensifying given the current demands and we are calling out to individuals, businesses, developers and any other organisations to let us know whether they have or are aware of any site or building that may be suitable for our need. We are looking at all possibilities, whether leasehold or freehold land or buildings.”
For food donations please drop them at our boxes in supermarkets and shops across town
For help with new premises and more information please email us at: [email protected].
For more information on what we do or if you can help with cash donations please visit: or www.fairfrome.org https://www.facebook.com/FairFrome/