Food bank use on the up as families face breaking point
More than 5,100 food parcels were handed out across the UK every day in past six months, according to the Trussell Trust.
That’s at least three parcels given every minute and is an 11% increase compared to the same period in 2019, as need for emergency food remains well above pre-pandemic levels.
Worryingly, the Trussell Trust said that families with children have been hit the hardest, with food parcels for children increasing at double the rate for adults, compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Between April and September 2021, almost 2,000 parcels were provided for children every day on average, compared to almost 1,700 in 2019.
The poverty charity warns that the need for emergency food is expected to rise further still this winter and beyond. It predicts that food banks in the Trussell Trust network will be giving out more than 7,000 food parcels every day in December.
The Trussell Trust says many families are already at breaking point from the fallout of the £20 per week cut from Universal Credit payments that hit this autumn. This is on top of rising fuel costs during the coldest season, as well as soaring inflation.
The charity warns that this is forcing many families deeper into poverty, and is leaving people facing impossible decisions where their only option is to either skip meals to provide food for their children or heat their home.
Emma Revie, chief executive at the Trussell Trust, said: “Everyone in the UK should be able to afford the essentials – to buy their own food and heat their homes. Yet food banks in our network continue to see more and more people facing destitution with an increase in food parcels going to children. This is not right.
“Our food bank managers expect need to grow further still, saying they will need to provide more than 7,000 food parcels a day during December, as many families are faced with an even tougher winter ahead. This must stop.
“The answer must be for us to have the stability of a strong enough social security system to protect any one of us when we need it. We need government at all levels to take action and are asking the public to help fight hunger this winter and join the campaign to fight for a future without the need for food banks.”