-A A +A
Select color visibility that suits you Basic theme Dark theme Darker theme Text only

Food bank use increases by thirteen per cent

07 November 2018

The Trussell Trust has provided 658,048 emergency foodbank supplies to people in crisis between April and September 2018, a 13% increase on the same period in 2017.

Read more

The charity says if the five-week minimum wait for a first Universal Credit payment is not reduced, the only way to prevent even more people being forced to foodbanks this winter is to pause all new claims to Universal Credit.

The inability of benefit levels to cover essential living costs and issues with payments remain the most common reasons for referral to a foodbank.

Disability Rights UK has previously voiced its concerns over the increased use of food banks forced on disabled people as a result of changes to the benefits system. Philip Connolly policy manager of Disability Rights UK said

“More than half of food bank users are disabled people or those with a long-term health condition. The initiatives 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.”

Universal Credit is not the only benefit people at foodbanks are experiencing problems with the new system is increasingly driving referrals due to benefit delays, which include waiting for a first payment or having problems with a new claim.

While the Trussell Trust welcomes changes to Universal Credit announced in the recent Budget it highlights that much of the support will not come into force until July 2020.

In addition, the Trust says that while the Government has now introduced 100% advance payments to manage the five-week wait, these must be repaid.

To protect people who will move onto Universal Credit before that point, the charity is calling for the Department for Work & Pensions to be resourced to reduce the five-week minimum wait for a first payment.