1.2 MILLION parcels handed out in a year
ALMOST 1.2 million emergency foodbank supplies were given out to hungry families over the past year with the government’s changes to benefits largely blamed for the record-high figures.
Britain’s biggest foodbank charity the Trussell Trust said yesterday it provided 1,182,954 three-day food supplies to people in crisis in the year to March — 70,000 more compared with the previous 12 months.
Almost 440,000 of the supplies went to children, the charity said.
And three million children are at risk of going hungry during the school holidays when there is also an increased use of foodbanks when they don’t get free school meals, according to a report by a cross-party panel of MPs and peers.
Labour shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams called the grim tally “a damning condemnation of the Tories’ economic failure” and said her party would reverse benefit cuts and boost wages.
In areas where the government’s penny-pinching universal credit benefit was introduced, foodbank use shot up by 17 per cent. This was down to the six-week waiting period for the first universal credit payment.
Benefit delays and changes remain the biggest cause of someone being referred to the Trussell Trust’s 420 foodbanks by a front-line worker such as a doctor, social worker or jobcentre adviser.
An engineer who was made redundant after 37 years said that he struggled to find another job and he had to wait six to eight weeks before receiving his first benefit payment while feeling very depressed.