Responding to new figures from the Trussell Trust that show their food banks gave out almost 3 million food parcels in the last year,
Katie Schmuecker, Principal Policy Advisor at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said:
“This new report from the Trussell Trust should shake politicians to their core. The sheer scale of the number of parcels being handed out is clearly unsustainable. Hunger on this scale isn't normally associated with a society in peacetime.
“Anyone can lose their job, need to care for a sick relative or break up with their partner and find themselves in need of some help to get back on their feet. This is what Universal Credit should be for but food banks are currently making up for its failings.
“A key driver behind more food parcels being handed out is that Universal Credit - our system for supporting people in hard times is, for the vast majority, simply not providing enough to cover the cost of core essentials like food, hygiene products or electricity. In many cases, levels of support are being pulled far below what is needed to cover the essentials.
“The solution to growing hunger isn't more food banks. It's a time for the Essentials Guarantee - a needs-tested social security system; one in which the support people receive is actually linked to the real-world costs of essentials.”