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As high proportion of disabled people forced to use food banks we demand Govt sees it, says it and sorts it

30 June 2017

A major new research study of food bank use highlights that three-quarters of households using food banks contained someone with a health condition and/or disability.

View report: Financial insecurity, food insecurity, and disability

This Trussell Trust research is the single biggest nationwide study on foodbank use to date.

Among the report’s other key findings are that:

  • almost two-thirds of survey respondents indicated they had a health condition, and another 5% of respondents did not have one themselves, but had a household member who did;
  • about one-third of food bank using households included someone with a mental health condition; and
  • compared to the profile of low-income households in the UK, the households of food bank users are almost three times more likely to contain someone with a disability.

Philip Connolly policy manager of Disability Rights UK says:

“More than half of food bank users are disabled people or those with a long-term health condition. The initiative by Trussell Trust shows that society is reaching out to them but they must wonder why there is a government denying them adequate social protection. I hope members of the Government are reminded as I am of the security alert message see it, say it, sort it.” 

The Trussell Trust report says:

“People with disabilities are at greater risk of poverty in the UK. This may be because their conditions limit their ability to work, because they face discrimination when applying for work, and/or because additional living expenses resulting from their disability make it so their incomes are not sufficient to meet their basic needs.”

It adds:

“The over-representation of people with disabilities among food bank users may indicate current welfare support for disabled people is insufficient to ensure that such individuals are not left destitute. Many reports have warned of this as a result of welfare reforms disproportionately impacting disabled people and because benefits have not kept pace with inflation.”