The Trussell Trust food bank network provided almost 1.3 million emergency food parcels to people between April and September to support those experiencing hunger.
With almost half a million of the parcels helping to feed children, the support accounts to a third more parcels than provided during the same period in 2021, with an increase of more than 50% compared to pre-pandemic levels.
This comes as 320,000 have been forced to turn to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network for the first time over the last six months as the charity has said the cost-of-living crisis has created a ‘tsunami of need’.
It has warned that food banks are at ‘breaking point’ and are set to face the hardest winter yet as they expect to provide more than 7,000 emergency food parcels a day on average in the next six months.
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“These new statistics show that, even in summer months, people are struggling to afford the essentials and we are expecting that this winter will be the hardest yet for food banks and the people they support. This is not right,” Trussell Trust chief executive, Emma Revie said.
“We know that with the right support and a stable and sufficient income, people don’t need to turn to food banks for support. Over the last few years, the government has acted to protect people who are struggling, and this action has had made a difference.
“They must now act again: with swift support now to help people through the winter, and with vision for the longer-term to ensure that social security is always enough to weather challenging times.
She said that the Trussell Trust is now calling on the prime minister to “act decisively in next week’s budget”, urging the government to “realise their commitment of supporting people on the lowest income with a broad package of support.
“As well as ensuring that benefits rise with inflation as soon as possible, this must go further to close the gap between price rises and incomes over the winter.”