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London food bank usage grows five-fold in 2 years

Report finds Trussell Trust coping with 393% increase in demand from the hungry

The number of hungry Londoners dependent on food banks has increased almost five-fold in the last two years.

A new report on food poverty by food bank charity the Trussell Trust prompted calls for London Mayor Boris Johnson to take action over the capital’s “growing food poverty crisis.”

The report also identified widespread support for the introduction of free school meals.

Yesterday the Morning Star highlighted the “whitewashing” of a government report on food poverty which failed to connect the problem with the government’s slashing of benefits and the impact of low wages.

Now the Trussell Trust warns food bank use in London has increased by 393 per cent in the past two years.

In 2011-12 there were 12,839 visits to Trussell Trust food banks in London. The number increased to 63,367 in the first nine months of this financial year — including 24,500 children — says the report.

London Assembly Labour Group economy spokeswoman Fiona Twycross, who wrote the report, said: “We are seeing a growing food poverty crisis in the capital as incomes continue to be squeezed.

“It is time the mayor took concerted action to address this problem. It is a scandal that people cannot afford to feed themselves or their families in modern London. The use of food banks continues to increase at an alarming rate thanks to the continued squeeze on living standards.”

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