Broken benefits system drives record foodbank use


More people than ever are being forced to turn to emergency food provision

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14th November 2019 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

The UK’s broken benefits system is driving record numbers of people to use foodbanks.

More people than ever are being forced to turn to emergency food provision.

The Trussell Trust, which runs a network of foodbanks across the country, said it distributed a record 823,145 food parcels between April and September, including 301,653 that went to children.

This was a 23% increase on the same period last year, the steepest rise the charity has ever recorded.

The top three reasons cited by people needing emergency food were insufficient benefit income, at 36%, followed by delays in benefit payments at 18% and changes to benefit at 16%.

Emma Revie, the trust’s chief executive, said: “Our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty, but currently thousands of women, men and children are not receiving sufficient protection from destitution.”

She urged all parties to make combating food poverty a major issue during the general election campaign – and beyond: “We want our next government to start working towards a future where no one needs a food bank by ending the five-week wait for universal credit; ensuring benefit payments cover the cost of living; and investing in local emergency support for people in crisis. It’s in our power as a country to end the need for food banks. This can change.”