UK Hunger on the Rise, More People Than Ever Need Emergency Food

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
By Paul Martin

Poverty in the UK is growing, with a record number of almost 1.2 million food supplies being given out at food banks in 2016.

Figures for the 2016 financial year, released by London charity Trussell Trust, have shown that food banks have had to provide 1,182,954 three-day food supplies to people living in poverty. This is an increase of over 70,000 from 2015 numbers.

In addition to this, the charity declared that almost 440,000 supplies went to children. Campaigners have claimed the changes in the welfare system as the main reason to why this need for emergency food has grown.

Figures also show that since the UK government introduced Universal Credit (UC), a single monthly payment for people in or out of work, the number of people needing emergency food has increased by 17 percent.

The reason why UC has had such an impact on people using food banks has come down to the simple fact that there is a six-week waiting period for the first UC payment, which is causing people to go hungry, and develop debt arrears.

David McAuley, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said the welfare system is causing unforeseen consequences.

“The move to simplify an often complex welfare system is a welcome one, but any large reform can have unforeseen consequences,” Mr. McAuley said.

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