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May 18, 2019 12:00 PM

The Trussell Trust network of foodbanks provided a record 1.6 million food parcels to people in crisis over the past year. More than half a million of these went to children. 1.6M FOODBANK PARCELS TTRUST (TRUSSELL TRUST)

According to the Trust the scale of hunger in the UK is unprecedented with the number of food parcels provided by our network soaring by 73% in the last five years. One of the main providers of foodbanks, the Trussell Trust are not the only source of emergency food issued by charitable groups therefore these figures do not represent the full scale of the problem in the UK.

In the East of England the Trust Foodbanks alone issued over 156,000 food parcels to individuals and families. The figures includes over 60,000 children UK FOODBANK MAP TTRUST (Trussell Trust)

Our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty.

The key reasons for people needing emergency food are benefits consistently not covering the cost of living, and delays or changes to benefits being paid.

Universal Credit is not the only benefit payment people referred to food banks have experienced problems with. But it is a key driver behind the increase in food bank use.

A big problem with Universal Credit is that everyone who applies has to wait at least five weeks for a full payment - some are left waiting longer. This is leaving many people without enough money to cover the basics, forcing them to use food banks. 5 WEEKS TOO LONG TTRUST (TRUSSELL TRUST)

We know the wait is #5WeeksTooLong. To create a future without food banks, the Government's first priority should be ending the five week wait.

Emma Revie, CEO of the Trussell Trust:

"What we are seeing year-upon-year is more and more people struggling to eat because they simply cannot afford food. This is not right.

"Enough is enough. We know this situation can be fixed - that's why we're campaigning to create a future where no one needs a food bank. No charity can replace the dignity of having financial security. That's why in the long-term, we're urging the Government to ensure benefit payments reflect the true cost of living and work is secure, paying the real Living Wage, to help ensure we are all anchored from poverty."


Lib dems Demand Better (Lib Dems)