A FAILURE of the Benefits system is a major cause of people in Ludlow needing help from the Food Bank.

Working poverty is also a factor with some of the individuals and families receiving parcels being in work.

This a a consequences of low paid and insecure jobs.

Financial problems and in particular difficulties with Benefits were by far the biggest reason for people receiving food parcels.

There were 78 cases related to benefits and 50 linked to other financial problems.

“The financial problems are occurring for people in work,” said Ruth Davies, co-ordinator for the Ludlow Food Bank.

“Most of the benefit problems were delays in receiving payments.”

An initiative is planned to try to help to overcome this problem or at least reduce the impact.

“We are hoping to start some ‘pop-up’ computer sessions around the town later in the year so that people applying for Universal Credit can easily get on line and we will have some assistance in filling in forms,” said Ms Davies.

“The CAB currently offer this service but are very stretched.”

It is planned that help will be provided through a project involving the ‘Working Together’ group in Ludlow.

“There will be some training from Shropshire Council for volunteers,” added Ms Davies.

“This will hopefully minimise delays in receiving benefits and may reduce the number of parcels we need to give away.”

A report from the Food Bank for 2017 shows that the vast majority of food parcels went to people living in Ludlow but there was also some help to people in Clee, Cleobury Mortimer, Craven Arms and surrounding villages.

The villages are not being names because the Food Bank does not want to make it possible for the people that have been helped to be identified.