2.1 million food parcels sent across the UK in past year

New Trussell Trust figures show that the network provided more than 2.1 million parcels to people facing financial hardship across the country, from April 2021 to the end of March 2022.

The number represents a 14 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2019/20 as more and more people have found themselves unable to afford the absolute essentials that we all need to eat, stay warm, dry and clean. It also marks the first time food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network have provided more than two million parcels, outside of 2020/21, at the height of the pandemic.

Alarmingly, more than 830,000 parcels were provided for children, representing a 15 per cent increase from 2019/20 when 720,000 were provided.

Food bank managers are also now warning of an accelerating crisis across the UK following the cut to Universal Credit, as the cost of living continues to soar. Even though one in three people on Universal Credit are already skipping meals, the charity says the UK government is still choosing not to protect people already struggling to make ends meet.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “People are telling us they’re skipping meals so they can feed their children. That they are turning off essential appliances so they can afford internet access for their kids to do their homework.

“How can this be right in a society like ours? And yet food banks in our network tell us this is only set to get worse as their communities are pushed deeper into financial hardship. No one’s income should fall so dangerously low that they cannot afford to stay fed, warm and dry.

“There is still time for the UK government to do the right thing. We are calling on the UK government to bring benefits in line with the true cost of living. As an urgent first step benefits should be increased by at least 7%, keeping pace with increases in the cost of living. In the longer term, we need the government to introduce a commitment in the benefits system to ensure that everyone has enough money in their pockets to be prevented from falling into destitution.”

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