Record number of people relying on food donations
The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest food bank provider, has reported an unprecedented rise in the number of food parcels distributed in the past year. Nearly three million food parcels were distributed, an increase of 37% from the previous year, with 1.1 million of these parcels provided to children.
In December, on average, a food parcel was given out every eight seconds. Despite the pandemic and rising cost of living pressures, the Trussell Trust said that low levels of income and an insufficient social security system had caused more people to need food banks. The charity has called for an increase in the basic level of universal credit to cover “essential costs”.
The UK Department for Work and Pensions said that it has provided record levels of direct financial support for the most vulnerable.
The trust’s annual report says:
- more than three-quarters of a million people who received help had never before used one of its food banks
- one in five people referred to a food bank was in a household where someone had a job
The trust provided emergency food and support from almost 1,650 centres, last year, with demand increasing in all areas of the UK but especially:
- north-east and east England
- south-west England