Food Bank crisis

Tuesday 14th May 2019 18:48 EDT

Media and the politicians are currently engrossed with Brexit, knife killings and NHS at the expenses of food bank crisis and poverty facing the adults and children. At present the situation is dire and no one in the government and political parties are taking this matter seriously.

Figures from the Trussel Trust show that in the year to March 2018, 1,332,952 three-day emergency food supplies were delivered to people in crisis across the UK – a 13 per cent increase on last year. This marks a considerably higher increase than the previous financial year, when it rose by 6 per cent. Low income is the biggest single – and fastest growing – reason for referral to food banks, accounting for 28 per cent of referrals compared to 26 per cent in the previous year. The plan to cut benefits, send the poorest to the food banks. Children are hit badly because of Britain’s food poverty crisis. According to the Trussell Trust, over the past five years the number of food parcels handed out across the UK rose 73%. 

The reason for these referrals is the increased cost of housing and utility bills. The utility bill debt has increased significantly since April 2016. The other main cause in the past year was benefit delays (24 per cent) and benefit changes (18 per cent). "Reduction in benefit value” have the fastest growth rate of all referrals made due to a benefit change, while those due to “moving to a different benefit” have also grown significantly. 

According to Trussell Trust these figures don’t show the full extent of food-bank use in the UK. Because in addition to the charity’s 1,200 food-bank centres, there are at least an additional 805 independent food banks across the UK.

The situation has become intolerable. We know this situation can be fixed. We have to campaign to create a future where no one will need a food bank. Our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty. Emma Revie, chief executive of the charity, said: “It’s hard to break free from hunger if there isn’t enough money coming in to cover the rising cost of absolute essentials like food and housing. For too many people staying above water is a daily struggle. It’s completely unacceptable that anyone is forced to turn to a foodbank as a result. Also. Universal credit is forcing parents to leave their babies in hospital. 

We are the fifth largest economy of the world yet a section of our community and their children are worse off than even the less developed countries. This situation is unacceptable and need putting right straight away. 

Baldev Sharma

Rayners, Harrow

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