Number using food banks triples in a year

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

The number of people using food banks to make ends meet has tripled in a year, according to new figures released today by the Trussell Trust.

355,000 people used foodbanks between April and September 2013, compared to 113,000 between April and September 2012, according to the Trust, which runs 400 food banks across the UK.

A third of those being helped were children and a third required food following a delay in the payment of their benefits.

“The level of food poverty in the UK is not acceptable,” said the Trust’s executive chairman Chris Mould.

“It’s scandalous, and it is causing deep distress to thousands of people,” he added

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said that welfare reforms were pushing households into food poverty.

“One only has to look at the huge rise in foodbanks to see how little support is being given to people who fall on hard times. But instead of recognising the tremendous difficulties people are facing, ministers are blaming them for their plight.”

The government blamed the increase on a greater number of foodbanks.

However the Trussell Trust said that food poverty in the UK was getting worse.

“We’re talking about mums not eating for days because they’ve been sanctioned for seemingly illogical reasons,” said Mr Mould.

“Or people leaving hospital after a major operation to find that their benefits have been stopped or delayed.”

Food banks have risen dramatically under the coalition. 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.

Food banks graph 2013

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