Friday, November 7, 2014

163% Surge In Food Bank Users Just The ‘Tip Of The Iceberg’, Says Trussell Trust

More than 900,000 adults and children received emergency food parcels from the charity Trussell Trust in the last 12 months, new figures show.

The shocking figure represents a 163% rise on the previous year and Trussell Trust say more people are being referred to the charity than ever before.

913,138 people received three days’ emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks in 2013-14, compared to 346,992 in 2012-13. This is just the “tip of the iceberg” of food poverty in the UK, says the Trussell Trust chairman, because the figure only accounts for Trussell Trust food banks.

Source: Trussell Trust
Source: Trussell Trust

Low-income households and benefit claimants have seen their income squeezed under the Tory-led coalition government, by lower than inflation wage rises and devastating welfare cuts.

A new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warns there could be 300,000 more people living in “absolute poverty” than previously thought, mainly caused by rising food and energy prices.

According to the Trussell Trust, the primary reason given by users for requiring food aid is harsh and draconian benefit sanctions or payment delays, closely followed by low wages and benefit changes. 83% of Trussell Trust food banks have reported an increase in demand due to “sanctioning”.

Source: Trussell Trust
Source: Trussell Trust

Trussell Trust say they are increasingly working with partners and agencies to provide welfare advice and budgeting advice to families hit by welfare cuts, or poverty wages. The charity is also providing essentials like washing powder, nappies and hygiene products to families in crisis.