Food bank networks have called for local authority support schemes to be prioritised as a record?2.5 million emergency food parcels are given out by just one charity over the lockdown.
The Trussell Trust reported today that food banks in its UK network gave more than 2.5 million emergency food parcels to people facing crisis between April 2020 and?March?2021.
More than 980,000 of these went to children, which is almost two parcels every minute on average.
According to the charity’s data, the food banks in its network experienced a?33%?increase in need during the lockdown, with a 36% rise in parcels given for children compared with 2019/20.
‘No one should?face the?indignity of?needing?emergency food. Yet our network of food banks has given out record numbers of food parcels as more and more people struggle without enough money for the essentials,’ said Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust.
‘This?is not right?but?we know we can build a better future.?This pandemic has shown the unexpected can hit suddenly, but we know when we push for change, united by our desire for justice and compassion, the Government?has to?listen and act.’
The charity warns that with need for emergency food increasing year-on-year, today’s figures?highlight?an alarming 128%?rise?compared to this time five years ago.?It is also the first time?the number of food parcels?distributed?has topped two million.
Sabine Goodwin, coordinator of the Independent Food Aid Network, commented: ‘Independent food banks are also continuing to see relentless need for help although combined Trussell Trust and independent food bank figures represent a fraction of the UK’s food insecurity picture.
‘Now more than ever, our social security system needs to be reset, local authority support schemes involving crisis grants prioritised and adequate wages and secure work ensured.’
‘It’s the Government’s responsibility to stop hunger from happening in the first place so that everyone is able to afford to buy food and other essentials,’ she added.