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More women seeking help from food banks

More women seeking help from food banks

Thursday 28 December 2017

More women seeking help from food banks

Thursday 28 December 2017

More women are turning to food banks for help, accounting for 60% of the overall users this year.

The statistics, which come as part of the Food Bank Usage Report, showed that women overtook men who were more likely to use food banks in 2016.

65% of the women coming to the food banks were Jersey-born, with over two thirds of them aged between 30 and 49, single and with no dependent children.

The report is based on data collected in the first quarter of 2017 by Jersey's three main providers of food assistance: the Grace Trust, St Helier Methodist Centre and St Vincent de Paul. 

Although the data supplied was not sufficient to create a clear profile of food bank users, or a full comparison between 2016 and 2017, it suggests that food bank usage was at similar levels during the first quarters of 2017 and 2016. It also shows that the use of food banks appeared to be lower in Jersey than levels recorded in the UK. 


Pictured: The majority of women using food banks in Jersey tended to be single 30 to 49-year-olds without children.

Common reasons cited for seeking food assistance were: long-term health conditions; general low income and debt; unexpected problems incurring costs that could not be managed. 

The age range of users was between 22 and 72, with the majority being 30 to 49.

The report added that the results from the Jersey Annual Social Survey (JASS) - now called the Jersey Opinions and Lifestyle survey - are particularly noteworthy.

In 2017, 19% of Jersey households reported finding it difficult to cope financially, while 4% said they were in arrears and 5% that they were finding it difficult to pay their electricity bills. In addition, 8% of households reported going without a cooked main meal every day at least ‘sometimes’ due to a shortage of money over the last twelve months.


Pictured: The report noted figures released in a recent lifestyle survey, which showed that nearly one fifth of island households were struggling with money.

Commenting on the report, Deputy Anne Pryke, Housing Minister, stated: “Since the first report in 2016, a lot of effort has been put into joint working between food banks and Government agencies to understand the scope and reasons for food bank usage in the Island. The data provided by this latest study is valuable in terms of our ongoing policy development. 

“The food bank usage report adds to a body of work aimed at better understanding the social issues affecting Jersey. The recent Opinions and Lifestyle Survey Report is particularly pertinent in this respect, and shows many Jersey households are facing difficulties coping financially. It is important that Government listens to this evidence, so that policy decisions can be made from an informed standpoint."


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