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1 million people turn to foodbank parcels

Poverty crisis sees 163 per cent rise in demand for help

Almost one million poverty-stricken people are forced to turn to foodbanks in the coalition government's "recovering" Britain, charity Tressell Trust revealed yesterday.

The trust said that the number of people receiving three days' emergency food from it soared to 913,000 in 2013-14, compared with 346,000 in 2012/13 - a shocking rise of 163 per cent.

Over two million people in Britain are officially unemployed, despite government boasts of unemployment falling by 77,000.

Union leaders united with bishops and charity workers to condemn Britain's poverty crisis.

The Bishop of Oxford John Pritchard said: "Being hungry is one of the most miserable experiences and being hungry day after day, month after month, with all its consequences of illness must by desperate."

The Morning Star spoke to Janet Garner, organiser of an independent food bank in Todmorden, a small town in the Yorkshire Pennines.

She said: "We see 100 people every Saturday morning.

"We are feeding more people, and more and more people with families are coming to us."

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "There will be no sighs of relief from families struggling to get by in the face of the biggest squeeze in living standards since the Victorian era.

"With the retail price index (RPI) at 2.5 per cent and wage growth at 1.4 per cent, excluding bonuses, the squeeze continues leaving ordinary people bewildered at the self-congratulatory tone of the government that has presided over the growing shame of foodbank Britain."

He said 900,000 young people remain jobless and one million are forced to work part-time.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said the new jobless figures were not worth even "half a cheer."

She said: "The time to celebrate recovery will be when ordinary workers return to pre-crash living standards and the economy is generating more secure skilled jobs with good prospects and decent pay."

Public and Commercial Services union general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Wealthy Tory politicians and their allies in big business might not be suffering but, in the real world, austerity is taking its toll."

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