Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Increasing number of food banks

 Independent Food Aid Network finds at least 2,000 food banks giving out parcels, with demand continuing to grow. 

Trussell Trust, Britain’s biggest food bank network recently reported that it gave out a record 1.2m food parcels to families and individuals in need in 2016-17, the ninth successive year in which demand had risen. The Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan), confirm that the Trussell figures represent only a partial picture of the scale of organised food bank provision, and suggest that the level of food bank use is far greater than headline figures indicate. There are at least 651 grassroots food banks operating independently of the Trussell network, ranging from tiny voluntary groups that give out a few food parcels each week, to larger charity operations that hand out thousands of parcels to hundreds of clients each year.

Prof Jon May, of Queen Mary University of London and chair of Ifan, said the figures emphasised the rapid rise in the number of food banks over the past five years, and the changing geography of poverty. “There are now food banks in almost every community, from the East End of London to the Cotswolds. The spread of food banks maps growing problems of poverty across the UK, but also the growing drive among many thousands of people across the country to try and do something about those problems”.

Rachel Loopstra, lecturer in nutrition at King’s College London and an expert in food insecurity, said: “Recent national survey data suggests that 8% of adults experienced not having enough money for food over 2016"

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