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Food bank use is still ‘well above’ what it was before pandemic

FOODBANK use is still well above what it was before the Covid-19 pandemic, with an increasing number of emergency parcels feeding children, charity figures revealed today.  

The Trussell Trust said that it had handed out 935,749 emergency food parcels across Britain in the six months to October, more than a third (356,570) of which went to children.

This equates to a daily average of more than 5,100, including almost 2,000 for young people.

The figure is up 11 per cent on the same period in 2019, with the number given to children increasing at twice the rate of those going to adults, the charity said. 

Some 135,461 parcels were delivered in London alone from April to September. 

The use of Trussell Trust foodbanks has seen a massive nationwide rise of almost three-quarters (74 per cent) since 2016, the charity confirmed. 

It warned that the need for support would rise over the winter as poorer families struggle with rising fuel costs, high inflation and last month’s removal of the £20-a-week universal credit uplift.

Chief executive Emma Revie said: “Foodbanks continue to see more and more people facing destitution, with an increase in food parcels going to children. This is not right.

“The answer must be for us to have the stability of a strong enough social security system to protect any one of us when we need it.

“We need government at all levels to take action and are asking the public to join the campaign to fight for a future without the need for foodbanks.”

Labour’s London Assembly economy spokeswoman Marina Ahmad said that the figures were “likely to be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the scale of food insecurity” in the capital. 

She accused Tory ministers of “palming off their duty of care to the most vulnerable in our society to charities.”

Shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Reynolds blasted the situation as “a disgrace,” adding: “Britain deserves better.

“Labour would tackle the cost-of-living crisis through a VAT cut on energy bills to ease the burden on families this winter.”

In a statement, the government claimed that universal credit claimants would now be able to keep more of what they earn thanks to a newly reduced taper rate, while a household support fund would “help vulnerable families in England afford essentials.”

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