More than 265,000 children needed food banks to survive between April and September this year, new research from the UK’s largest network of food banks has revealed.
The Trussell Trust distributed 1.5 million emergency food parcels during this six-month period, more than ever before over the summer months. One in three of these parcels were provided to children.
“These statistics are extremely alarming,” Emma Revie, chief executive at the Trussell Trust, said. “An increasing number of children are growing up in families facing hunger, forced to turn to food banks to survive. A generation is growing up believing that it’s normal to see a food bank in every community. This is not right.
“Rising hunger and hardship have devastating consequences for individuals and our communities, damage the nation’s health and hold back our economy. People in work, as well as people who cannot work, are increasingly being pushed into debt and forced to turn to a food bank to survive.”
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Low incomes, especially from debt, health conditions and issues with benefits such as delays or sanctions were the main reasons people were left with no option but to turn to a food bank for help.
The Trussell Trust believes that the situation is unlikely to change in the coming months, forecasting that food banks in its network will distribute more than a million emergency food parcels between December 2023 and February 2024 – the equivalent of providing a parcel every eight seconds this winter.