Coalition presides over shocking increase in number of people using food banks

The number of people using food banks to make end meet has skyrocketed this year, according to new figures released today by the Trussell Trust.

The number of people using food banks to make end meet has skyrocketed this year, according to new figures released today by the Trussell Trust.

346,992 people received a minimum of three days emergency food from Trussell Trust food banks in 2012-13, compared to 128,697 in 2011-12 and 40,898 when Labour left office in 2010. Of those helped in 2012-13, 126,889 (36.6 per cent) were children.

Labour’s shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh called the figures “shocking”.

“The UK is the seventh richest country in the world yet under David Cameron’s leadership, we are facing a cost of living crisis and growing epidemic of hidden hunger, with some people increasingly unable to meet their family’s basic needs…This incompetent Tory-led Government needs to wake up to the human cost of their failed economic policies and change course now.”

The graph below charts the rise of food bank use and its explosion under the coalition.

Food banks graph 2013

20 Responses to “Coalition presides over shocking increase in number of people using food banks”

  1. Shelagh Boyle

    As a Support Worker my use of Food Banks for families has increased – I also had/have
    families without presents for their children at Christmas and Birthdays!

  2. lynn

    And…..what would labour do to stem the effects of capitalism?

  3. lynn

    And…..what would labour do to stem the effects of capitalism?

  4. lynn

    And…..what would labour do to stem the effects of capitalism?

  5. jsullivan

    Look downward, shuffle their feet and insist ‘difficult decisions have to be made’.

  6. Simon Cope

    Were there the same number of foodbanks with the same quantity of food available across this period? There could have been the same level of requirement for emergency food in 2005/06 without there being a supply to meet that demand.

    Of course, it is appalling that c.350,000 people need emergency food – but this does not tell us whether or not this was also the case under the previous government.

  7. lynn

    Exactly – beneath the outrage is more of the same.

  8. Paul Lawrence Hayes

    There’s a partial answer to your question in this article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/apr/24/number-people-food-banks-triples (via http://www.trusselltrust.org/ ). Looks like “chart junk” beat information in the battle for “column space” here. 😉

  9. Simon Cope

    Thanks Paul – clearly it was always going to be a more complex picture than that suggested by the graph. Interesting to note that according to the article the use of food banks has at least in part been a direct consequence of the removal of other means of support – so it may be that the demand has always been there, but that previously it was met by the state rather than through charity.

  10. LoobyLoo

    Unfortunately what is going to happen now, just as it does in every other sector of society where people pull together to help, is that the government will say ‘Oh well done you. Please, carry on and save us the expense of doing something about it.’ They will wash their hands, turn their backs and wander back to their expensive second homes to continue to claim their expenses for painting their duck houses as if nothing has happened.

  11. Dave Pleb Murphy

    Um, the math is a bit off here, and using percentages here doesn’t really make your point well.

    Increase under 3 years of coalition = ((346992 – 40898)/40898)*100 = 748.43% so the 1000% figure is wrong.

    Increase over the whole graph = ((346992 – 2814)/2814)*100 = 12230.91% which is, I suspect ,where someone got the over 1000% figure from but clearly the decimal is in the wrong place.

    Obviously there’s a serious problem though, that much is clear from just looking at the graph. Running up the same figures with year on year percentages and a 3 year rolling average tells us that the use of foodbanks has accelerated dramatically under the coalition.

    Have a look at https://docs.google.com/a/portsmouthcommunity.org/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmJb4QZy2xd8dFB3ZEZ6aDRhWFdVQUlyQkZTRHgyZFE#gid=0

    The high rate with the early figures may well be a result of fairly low usage – it takes a much lower increase to look like a massive percentage change. It’s hard to say without earlier figures.

    As others have pointed out, this is a complex situation and the DWP are attempting to dismiss these figures as caused by JCP referring people to foodbanks (wtf!?) and rising public awareness of their availability. Neither of those “explanations” explain why we have rising food poverty in one of the richest countries on earth.

    It’s also worth pointing out that these figures take no account of food aid from friends, family, and foodbanks not associated with The Trussell Trust. I dread to think what the real figures might be.

  12. mikeknoth

    under no otjer government than scameron’s dodgycoalition

  13. tomfrom66

    Under the terms of the New Feudalism, which no party can fully counteract as power has been surrendered by national governments to an amorphous blob called the global ‘free’ markets, for the benefit of which governments now govern

  14. realone

    no looby. The government should have no role in helping the poor. That is for good people like you to take on directly. Where do you think the government gets it’s money to “help” poor people? You! Don’t you think you could use your money more effectively? You seem to already distrust the government. Why trust them with this important responsibility?

  15. realone

    no looby. The government should have no role in helping the poor. That is for good people like you to take on directly. Where do you think the government gets it’s money to “help” poor people? You! Don’t you think you could use your money more effectively? You seem to already distrust the government. Why trust them with this important responsibility?

  16. realone

    no looby. The government should have no role in helping the poor. That is for good people like you to take on directly. Where do you think the government gets it’s money to “help” poor people? You! Don’t you think you could use your money more effectively? You seem to already distrust the government. Why trust them with this important responsibility?

  17. realone

    no looby. The government should have no role in helping the poor. That is for good people like you to take on directly. Where do you think the government gets it’s money to “help” poor people? You! Don’t you think you could use your money more effectively? You seem to already distrust the government. Why trust them with this important responsibility?

  18. realone

    no looby. The government should have no role in helping the poor. That is for good people like you to take on directly. Where do you think the government gets it’s money to “help” poor people? You! Don’t you think you could use your money more effectively? You seem to already distrust the government. Why trust them with this important responsibility?

  19. realone

    no looby. The government should have no role in helping the poor. That is for good people like you to take on directly. Where do you think the government gets it’s money to “help” poor people? You! Don’t you think you could use your money more effectively? You seem to already distrust the government. Why trust them with this important responsibility?

  20. Oldtimer

    The members of the Government who are millionaires do not see the need for food banks.
    Why they should live amongst the real people for a month?

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