Average-earning families can't cope with spiralling household expenses
Cash-strapped families are turning to emergency help from charities more than ever before as the cost of living leaves thousands desperate.
According to food bank charity the Trussell Trust, more than 5,100 food parcels are provided to households every day in the UK, an 11% increase before the combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and the fallout from Brexit hit supply chains.
Three emergency food parcels are handed out to cash-strapped families every minute in the UK and that’s before further cost of living increases are set to hit this year.
The charity has now called on the UK government to increase benefit payments further to avoid a further rise in the numbers being forced to turn to food banks to feed their families.
Garry Lemon, policy director at the Trussell Trust, said: “With inflation reaching a thirty-year high, our social security system is at breaking point and essential costs across the board are rising rapidly. Overall inflation is only set to increase further this spring.
“To truly help people hardest hit the government must bring benefit payments in line with the expected cost of living this April, or risk pushing more people through the doors of food banks. This means increasing payments by at least 6 per cent instead of the planned 3.1 per cent.
“We all need our social security system to act as the lifeline it needs to be. Only then will we be able to end the need for food banks in the future.”
The group that represents the nation’s largest supermarkets added that the combination of rising fuel and food prices, as well as high national insurance payments and transport cost will lead to more families struggling to cope from April.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “The rise in shop prices is playing into wider UK inflation, which is pushing cost of living to the forefront of the political agenda. Many households will find it difficult to absorb the additional costs, as well as others on the horizon."