Foodbanks feed over 100,000 Britons in six months

Published on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 11:23
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

Today UK Foodbank charity The Trussell Trust reveals that a record-breaking 100,000 people have received emergency food from UK foodbanks in just six months. The charity, which released its statistics to coincide with World Food Day, fears that rises in food and fuel bills this winter could force more Britons into a crisis where they cannot afford to eat.

World Food Day's campaign to 'fight hunger to reduce poverty' is well timed as three new foodbanks open every week to help meet the growing demand for emergency food in the UK. The Trussell Trust's UK Foodbank Network anticipates feeding over 200,000 people in 2012-13 and warns that this Christmas is looking even bleaker for families on the breadline.

The Trussell Trust's foodbank network has fed almost 110,000 people across the UK since April 2012, compared to 128,697 people in total during the 2011-12 financial year.

The rising cost of food and fuel combined with static incomes, high unemployment and changes to benefits have seen increasing numbers turn to foodbanks over the last eighteen months. Having already fed record-breaking numbers since April this year, news that food prices are likely to rise again, and that British Gas and Npower are set to increase fuel bills by almost 10%, worries The Trussell Trust's 270 strong foodbank network. Trussell Trust Executive Chairman Chris Mould says:

'The Trussell Trust has seen first-hand the devastating impact of rising food prices on people in poverty. It means that the budgets of people on the breadline are stretched even further so that even a small change in financial circumstances can push people into a crisis where they cannot afford food. Day in, day out, foodbanks already meet UK parents who are going without food to feed their children, or are forced to consider stealing to stop their children going to bed hungry. Further rises in food and fuel bills could see even more people in crisis turn to foodbanks.'

He continues: 'Many low-income working families are living on a knife edge. This rise in food prices could be enough to tip them into poverty, especially as winter approaches and heating costs increase. Christmas is looking bleak for thousands of UK families.'

Mould adds: 'The good news is that at a time of growing difficulty for people on low-incomes, communities across the country are pulling out the stops to start new foodbanks and people are donating more food to help those in crisis on their doorsteps.'

The Trussell Trust hopes that World Food Day's campaign to fight hunger will help to raise the profile of the growing problem of UK food poverty and encourage more people to help their neighbours in need.
Trussell Trust foodbanks provide three days emergency food to UK people in crisis.

Source: ©Trussell Trust

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