Tag Archives: trussell trust

Rise of Foodbank Use Linked to Universal Credit

I’ve just spent some time reading Early Warnings, Universal Credit and Foodbanks. In it, the Trussell Trust reveals the rise of foodbanks linked to the roll-out of Universal Credit.

The statistics are sobering. From April 2017 to March 2018, the Trussell Trust’s foodbank network supplied 1,332,952 three-day emergency food supplies. This was a 13% increase from the year before. Of these, 484,026 supplies went to children.

I will pause and let you process that.

Our families are so hard up, not being given enough money to live on, that almost half a million children have been found in need of emergency food supplies.

The main reasons for being referred to a food bank were:

  1. low income (on benefits, not earning)
  2. benefit delay
  3. benefit change
  4. debt

I have argued before that a universal basic income would remove the first three reasons – if everyone in the country gets enough to live on, you eradicate the lowest level of poverty instantly. UBI does not need to be high – £4500 has been shown to be a workable figure which keeps food on the table for families, removing children from extreme poverty.

The Trussell Trust shows the figures going back to 2012-13, when the number of 3-day emergency supply packs given out was 346,992. Almost four times as many packs are being given out now.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 55 Comments

Opinion: Foodbanks: Are there more hungry people than a decade ago?

There are far more foodbanks, and foodbank users, than a decade ago. Many people have assumed that if more people are using foodbanks it must mean there are more hungry people in need – more having to choose between heating and eating – than there were.

But is that true? Does the evidence support it?

If a charity opened new refuges for abused women, we wouldn’t automatically take it as proof that domestic violence was shooting up. Similarly we can’t take the increase in foodbanks in itself as evidence of increased need.

There are three possibilities:

  • more people are in need than before
  • the increase

Posted in News | Also tagged | 25 Comments
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