Food bank referrals have more than doubled since 2019, as food poverty continues to rise and the cost-of-living crisis bites, new research has found.
According to the Citizens Advice, last month, the number of people referred to food banks by the advice hub reached 13,920, doubling the 2019 figure of 4,859.
Referrals, which hit a peak in April at almost 15,000, see 35-44 year old’s the most likely age demographic searching for help, along with single households most likely to need help from food banks.
While 23,969 people had reached out to Citizens Advice for crisis support in January of this year, the number is projected to reach 212,966 by December.
According to experts, inflation, which is causing food prices to soar is not set to hit its peak until 2023.
“There’s people who literally can’t afford to either keep their lights on or put food on the table,” Citizens Advice head of policy, Morgan Wild told The Guardian.
A growing concern across the UK, food poverty is the second biggest worry for households, behind fuel poverty which currently sees 10,802 people unable to top up their prepayment meters.
On 26 August, Ofgem is set to place a cap on average household gas and electricity bills, however this is forecast to rise to £3,240 in October, a rise from the original prediction of £2,800.
In a bid to aid households struggling most with the cost-of-living crisis, the government gave £650 to struggling families in receipt of certain means-tested benefits, of which the first payment of £326 was given out on Thursday 14 July and the remainder is scheduled for autumn of this year.