FOODBANK use in Salisbury rose by 30 per cent last year, with more than 5,000 people in the city receiving emergency food supplies from the Trussell Trust in 2019. 

1,900 of the 5,100 people that received emergency food supplies were children, also a 30 per cent increase on 2018. 

Nationally, in 2018/19, the Trussell Trust provided 1,583,668 three-day emergency food supplies and support to UK people in crisis. Of these, 577,618 went to children. 

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Sharon Korbey, 47, is a full-time teaching assistant at Shrewton CE Primary School, and used the Trussell Trust’s foodbank at St Michael’s Church in December.

She said: “I work full time as a teaching assistant and changes in my circumstances led to me being in financial trouble.

“As my children got older, I lost all the tax credits and maintenance and everything like that, and I’m on my own, and I couldn’t meet my outgoings at that time. 

“I looked at cutting back as much as I could and then it just got to a point where I couldn’t afford anything.”
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Maria Stevenson, Salisbury Foodbank manager said: “We did see a significant increase. 

“Salaries are low, rents are high, and things like zero hour contracts all link into it, as well as universal credit.” 

“What we offer is three days’ worth of emergency food and you need to be referred to us by a referral agency which is usually a professional agency – it could be a GP or from a council department. 

“Then, when you go to the foodbank, you would be met by one of our volunteers. They would then talk to you about your nutritional needs, and pick a menu for three days based on that criteria, and provide three meals a day for three days.”

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Sharon added: “It is good that the foodbank is there, otherwise people would starve, but it is not right that anybody should be in that boat, in such a rich country.

“One of my children is a student, so he is away. My daughter is at home, but didn’t have a job at the time either, so she couldn’t help me out with any money, and it just got to a point where I couldn’t afford anything.

“I’d used the foodbank before, ages ago, but I wasn’t working then, but now I am working full time, I really didn’t expect to have to rely on charity.” 

The Trussell Trust are about more than just food, and work closely with other agencies across the city and Wiltshire.  

This can be to help people with budgeting, or for mental health problems or because of a bereavement in the family. 

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Maria added: “When you come to the foodbank, we don’t just give out food, we give on-going advice as well, or sign post someone to an agency that can help them further. 

“We don’t want to see someone a second, third or fourth time. We will if we need to, but we prefer to help them on the road to recover. 

“We link into a lot of other agencies across the network - agencies who can help with budgeting advice, or mental health services.

“If someone can’t afford to pay their bills or feed their child, that is going to affect their mental health and everything spirals, and if your mental state cannot cope with prioritising or categorising, then its just going to get you down into a really dark and lonely place, and that is why we don’t just give food. We are not fixing a cause there.” 

“We are trying to sign post people for any number of reasons that they might have, be it a bereavement in the family or the breakdown of a relationship.” 

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The Trussell Trust currently sit on about 20 tonnes of stock in the main warehouse, which is about three months worth, but the coronavirus has also presented an “unprecedented challenge” for foodbanks.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust said: “With the spread of coronavirus we all now face an unprecedented challenge and uncertain future. 

“It is possible that food banks will face increased demand as people lose income, at the same time as food donations drop or staff and volunteers are unavailable, due to measures rightly put in place to slow the spread of infection.”

Wiltshire Council has been contacted for comment. 

For more information on the foodbank, go to

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