New research reveals there are hundreds more food banks operating in the UK than was previously believed.
A study by the Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan) has found there are 2,024 food banks across the country – 651 more than has been recorded before.
The extra food banks are all independent of The Trussell Trust network, which consists of 1,373 distribution centres, and so had not been included in earlier studies.
‘The spread of food banks maps growing problems of poverty across the UK, but also the growing drive among many thousands of people across the country to try and do something about those problems,’ said Professor Jon May, School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London, and Ifan chair.
Professor May said the increase in food banks and food bank use was the result of a ‘perfect storm’ of stagnant or declining wages, the growth of zero hour contracts, rising rents, fuel and food costs, welfare cuts and benefits delays.
According to figures from The Trussell Trust, the number of three-day emergency food supplies given by their food banks rose from nearly 61,500 in 2010 to almost 1,200,000 this year.