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Food banks bracing for ‘worst winter’ ever

Food banks bracing for ‘worst winter’ ever
Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

The Trussell Trust forecasts that more than 600,000 people will need the support of its food banks over a three-month period this winter.

Food banks across the charity’s network are expecting to provide more than one million emergency food parcels between December 2023 and February 2024.

This is the most parcels ever provided across this period and equates to an average of 11,500 food parcels a day and 7,000 people seeking support each day.

Between December and February last year, Trussell Trust food banks supported more than 220,000 children with emergency food, and 225,000 people who needed to use a food bank for the first time. But the charity predicts that these numbers will be even higher this year.

Call for donations

The Trussell Trust is calling on people in their local communities to donate, if they can, to ensure that food banks can continue to support everyone who needs their help.

While donation levels have remained stable compared to last year, the continued increase in need is leading to most food banks having to purchase stock to make up for this shortfall.

A recent survey of 282 food banks indicated that, in the past three months, 93% had to purchase food, at a time when prices are higher than ever, in order to keep up with the rising levels of need. These pressures have also led to one in three (32%) food banks reporting that they are concerned about being able to continue running at their current level in the coming months.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “We don’t want to spend every winter saying things at food banks are getting worse, but they are. Food banks are not the answer in the long-term, but while we continue to fight for the change that could mean they can be closed for good your local food bank urgently needs your support.

“They need donations of food for emergency parcels, and money to fund costs such as the purchasing of food to meet the shortfall in donations they are currently experiencing.

“One in seven people in the UK face hunger because they don’t have enough money to live on. That’s not the kind of society we want to live in, and we won’t stand by and let this continue. Every year we are seeing more and more people needing food banks, and that is just not right.

“Together, we have roots into hundreds of communities, and while someone facing hunger can’t change the structural issues driving the need for food banks on their own, thousands of us coming together can. We must end hunger across the UK so that no one needs a food bank to survive.”

Related: How to donate to food banks