Foodbank referrals rocket by 2700 per cent

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Food bank referrals have shot up by a staggering 2,700 per cent in the last two years, according to a local welfare and advice service.

Grangemouth and Bo’ness Citizens Advice Bureau held its AGM last week when it presented its shocking findings, showing referrals had gone up from two to 56.

The organisation, which provides an outreach service to the residents of Bo’ness at the Dean Road Health Centre twice weekly, has noted a marked increase in people requiring its assistance since the introduction of the Government’s welfare reforms.

Manager Bill Palombo said: “As a result of the changes in the UK Government’s approach to the sick, disabled and elderly, 50 per cent of our workload is now regularly dealing with welfare issues.”

Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Labour Councillor for Bo’ness and Blackness Ward, said: “The Citizens’ Advice Bureau has assisted thousands of people.

“It can take pride in having helped generate more than £1.8 million in additional income through benefit checks and form filling.

“It’s also incredibly sad that many enquiries were the result of welfare reform changes and that the CAB had to refer more people to food banks.”