Food banks across Rotherham have warned they will have to ‘brace’ themselves after the government announced a cut to the Universal Credit Uplift.

Research conducted by The Trussell Trust, showed 88,000 people in Yorkshire and the Humber feared they will be forced to skip meals.

Sue Cartlidge, a volunteer at Maltby Food Bank, urged Rotherham Council to support food banks after a surge in the number of people who used the service increased overnight.

The 71-year-old from Maltby, said: “Our clientele are very, very worried about the impact of this £20 cut per week and the on-going issue with it. I think we’re going to struggle especially when it starts to bite.”

Introduced at the start of the pandemic,  the £20-a week  Universal Credit uplift was scrapped on Wednesday despite people being ‘worried sick’.

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Emma Harris, Food bank Administrator at Rotherham Food Bank, backed The Trussell Trust’s call on the government to urgently reinstate the uplift.

In Rotherham alone,  the charity handed out almost four tonnes of food to people in need and fed around 3000 clients in April.

Ms Harris explained: “Christmas is usually an incredibly busy time as it is, but given the current economic climate too, we are bracing ourselves for a huge increase in demand, which is very sad.”

In December 2020, 11,435 residents in Rotherham claimed Universal Credit, this made up 7.1% of the workforce, which was above the national rate of 6.3%.

Despite her growing concerns, Ms Cartlidge welcomed anyone who needed to seek support after the uplift was dropped.

She added: “We’re going to be open and honest and help the people coming to us. We will never turn them away and we will always give a food parcel to them.”

For more information on where to find your local food bank visit The Trussell Trust’s Find a Food Bank tool.