How the Pandemic impacted on Food Poverty in Lincoln

By Simon Hoare – CEO of Acts Trust

Lincoln Food Poverty Report 20/21: The impact of the Pandemic

This report presents the data from food bank usage during the period March 2020 to February 2021. Whilst lockdown restrictions have not yet lifted at the time of writing this report, this does still give an indication from a one-year period of the impact that the pandemic has had on food poverty in the City.

The data has been collected from the online referral system that Lincoln Foodbank (delivered by Acts Trust), Lincoln Community Larder and Lincoln Mosque used to distribute food parcels. This system was created and managed by Acts Trust. Data has also been collected by St Swithins Church who provided food parcels regularly to the beneficiaries of their Love Your Neighbour programme during the period.

Chart 1

In total 6,034 households received an emergency food parcel (this includes repeat referrals).

The average household size was 2 people. Two thirds of beneficiaries were adults, one third children.

This represents 12,189 individual interventions representing 8,163 adults and 4,026 children.

A food parcel lasts for an average of 3 days meaning that 109,701 meals were provided.

Of these parcels, 3,099 were collected (51%) and 2,935 were delivered (49%).

Demand spiked during the first lockdown with a secondary spike starting in the November lockdown.

Chart 2

The main driver for referrals were ‘benefit issues’. However, almost a third (29.7%) of referrals were coronavirus related, either due to self isolations (10.1%) or due to lost or reduced in come (19.6%)

Chart 3

The 5 areas with the highest levels of food poverty were LN2 5 (Monks Road area), LN5 8 (Sincil Bank/Bracebridge area), LN6 7 (Moorlands/Boultham area), LN6 0 (Birchwood/Hartsholme area) and LN1 3 (Ermine West/Burton Road area)

Chart 4 (Lincoln Foodbank, delivered by Acts Trust only)

In terms of KG of food, Chart 4 shows a dramatic increase in 2020 in both stock in and out (Lincoln Foodbank only) which highlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on demand and supply.

To compare years, in 2019, Lincoln Foodbank gave out 39 tonnes of food. This increased by 71% to 67 tonnes in 2020.

Donations also increased by 62% from 52 tonnes to 84 tonnes in 2020, which highlights the generosity of people in Lincoln towards those impacted by food poverty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Headline Stats for Lincoln from first 12 months of the pandemic:
6,034 food parcels given out 12,189 people received food aid
36,234 meals provided to children
71% increase in the weight of food given out compared to previous year
1/5 parcels were given due to lost or reduced income as a result of the pandemic

Simon Hoare, CEO of Acts Trust

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