Food banks have warned they have seen record levels of need as the coronavirus pandemic causes more financial hardship for vulnerable families.
The Trussell Trust reported a 81% increase for emergency food parcels from food banks during the last two weeks of March 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
Food banks in the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) also reported an average 59% increase in need from February to March.
A coalition of charities, including the Trussell Trust, IFAN, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), Children’s Society, Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), StepChange and Turn2us, is now urging the Government to ensure everyone has enough money for essentials.
This includes providing a Coronavirus Emergency Income Support Scheme that supports individuals and families who are already facing or at serious risk of financial hardship.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: ‘Like a tidal wave gathering pace, an economic crisis is sweeping towards us – but we don’t all have lifeboats. It’s not right that this has meant some of us don't have enough money for essentials and are being pushed to food banks.
’Now is the time to build on the foundations our government has laid. We need emergency measures to ensure people can make ends meet during this crisis. We have the power to come together as a country and make sure support is there to stop any of us being swept into poverty during this emergency.’