Sabine Goodwin, the coordinator of the Independent Food Aid Network, writes that the new Trussell Trust food bank data is “devastating” and shows urgent action is needed from the government.
Today’s devastating food bank data from the Trussell Trust must serve as a wake-up call to elected representatives both in government and in waiting. Not only have millions of food parcels been distributed by around 1,600 food banks but these alarming figures represent a fraction of the UK’s charitable food aid picture.
IFAN’s data alone, collated from some of hundreds of independent food banks operating across the UK, show relentless increases in demand. What’s more, IFAN food banks are struggling to keep up with the volume and are having to reduce the size of food parcels. Morale is low and volunteers are running on empty. And there are thousands more charitable groups supporting people unable to afford food.
But wider food insecurity statistics tell a far bleaker story still. The UK government’s own data from the Department for Work and Pensions’ Family Resources Survey found that of UK households reporting severe food insecurity from April 2021 to March 2022, just 14 per cent reported using a food bank.