Stop Mass Homelessness
Help us stop mass homelessness
Unless we act, the UK is facing a homelessness crisis
The Independent Food Aid Network says 93 per cent of organisations are reporting an increase or a significant increase in the need for their services since the start of 2022.
It said said it is supporting a growing cohort of people who have not needed to use a food bank before, such as people who are struggling following the £20 cut to universal credit.
Items such as instant noodles, or no-cook items like corned beef and spam, also remain popular as people cannot afford gas or electric to cook.
White added: “As guest Heidi says: ‘I have £1 left on the electric for the rest of the week. I need this to charge my girls’ tablets so they can do their school homework, I can’t put the oven on as well’ (The tablets are loaned to the family by the school).”
She said Maclean’s comments are equally as damaging the number of working people needing food bank support is “alarming”, and driven by low wages and uncertain hours.
White said: “Recently, a warehouse packer guest had all his promised hours cancelled for an entire week. Supplies hadn’t reached the warehouse in time so there was nothing to pack. For him and many others, the choice of “taking on more work” simply isn’t there. The prevalence of zero-hours contracts means that it’s difficult for guests to know what income will be coming in every week, let alone plan and budget.”
All the food budgeting, food education or change in work hours won’t make a difference.
“We’re at crisis point,” White said.
Similarly, Annie McCormack of IFAN member Broke Not Broken, Kinross said: “Independent food banks run by volunteers fill a gap left by an inadequate social security system and low wages. The drop in donations we’re seeing coupled with increase in usage shows exactly how unsustainable a crutch the
charitable food aid system really is. People need to be able to access adequate incomes whether through social security payments or their wages.”
IFAN is calling on the UK Government to urgently introduce cash first interventions to reduce
rapidly increasing poverty levels across the UK, and at the very least to uprate benefits in line with inflation.
Kate Brewster of IFAN member One Can Trust, Buckinghamshire said that she has seen the need for their services double with the cost-of-living crisis, and the cut to Universal Credit adding: “We’re seeing the highest sustained level of demand in our 10-year history.
“We’re supporting hundreds of people with heart-breaking stories, and we know that having to exist like this affects mental health for many. It’s an appalling state of affairs. Wages and benefits must be sufficient to afford the essentials.”