Food banks may not be front and centre of the general election campaign, but the emergency aid providers have not disappeared.
In fact, the extent of food bank use in the UK today is bigger than previously thought, according to a new report.
A mapping exercise by the Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan) found that there are now more than 2,024 food banks in operation across the nation.
Although most of those are run by the well-established Trussell Trust network, there are 651 independent grassroots organisations providing regular food parcels for families in need – groups hidden from previous estimates.
The spread of food banks maps growing problems of poverty across the UK
“There are now food banks in almost every community, from the East End of London to the Cotswolds, said Ifan chairman Jon May, of Queen Mary University of London.
“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.”