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Huge rise in food bank support lays bare UK's poverty crisis

This news post is 8 months old

Massive rise in those desperate for support

Food banks in the Trussell Trust’s UK network gave out more than 2.5 million emergency food parcels between April 2020 and March 2021, a 33% rise on the previous year.

The charity is now warning that with need for emergency food increasing year-on-year, the figures highlight an alarming 128% rise compared to this time five years ago. 

It is also the first time the number of food parcels distributed has topped two million with more than 980,000 of these going to children.

The charity is now urgently calling on all levels of government to act.

It’s urging candidates standing in the upcoming May elections across England, Scotland, and Wales to commit to working to end the need for food banks and developing a plan to do so, if elected. 

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “No one should face the indignity of needing emergency food. Yet our network of food banks has given out record numbers of food parcels as more and more people struggle without enough money for the essentials. 

“This is not right but we know we can build a better future. This pandemic has shown the unexpected can hit suddenly, but we know when we push for change, united by our desire for justice and compassion, the government has to listen and act.  

“We are asking you, the public, to write to your local candidates standing for election on 6 May, asking them to commit to working to end the need for food banks if elected. Together we can take action now to build a hunger free future.” 

Sabine Goodwin, coordinator of the Independent Food Aid Network, said independent food banks are also continuing to see relentless need for help.

“Now more than ever, our social security system needs to be reset, local authority support schemes involving crisis grants prioritised and adequate wages and secure work ensured,” she said.  

“It’s the government’s responsibility to stop hunger from happening in the first place so that everyone is able to afford to buy food and other essentials.” 

A UK government spokesman said: "We are committed to supporting the lowest-paid families and have targeted support to those most in need by raising the living wage, spending hundreds of billions to safeguard jobs, boosting welfare support by billions, and introducing the £269 million Covid Local Support Grant to help children and families stay well-fed.

"We know that getting into well-paid work is the best route out of poverty, and our multi-billion pound Plan for Jobs is helping people across the country re-join the workforce as restrictions are eased."



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