Thursday, June 07, 2018

Poverty UK

Nearly 4 million adults (one in 14) in the UK have been forced to use food banks due to ”shocking” levels of deprivation, The Independent reveals.  Similar numbers have also been forced to skip meals and borrow money as austerity measures leave them “penniless with nowhere to turn”.
 Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) shows more than 1.5 million people were destitute in the UK last year alone, a figure higher than the populations of Liverpool and Birmingham combined. This includes 365,000 children. Destitution is defined as people lacking two “essential needs”, such as food or housing.
 7 per cent of the adult population – or 3.7 million people – have used a food bank to receive a meal. A million people have decreased the portion size of their child’s meal due to financial constraints, the survey says. The number of emergency meals handed out at food banks had risen at a higher rate than ever, soaring by 13 per cent in a year, with more than 1.3 million three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis in the 12 months to March.
The JRF report found that among the tens of thousands of people who were recorded as being destitute last year, food was the most commonly lacked item, with 62 per cent within the group reporting that they had gone without over the past month. Nearly half (47 per cent) had lacked basic toiletries, with 46 per cent lacking suitable clothing and 42 per cent having to go without heating. One in five destitute people reported lacking lighting at home, and 16 per cent had recently slept rough.
Garry Lemon, director of policy and research at the Trussell Trust, said: “These figures are deeply concerning, especially when we know that not everyone facing hunger or skipping meals goes to a food bank. Last year our network alone provided 1.3 million supplies to people across the UK – this is just not right. If we’re to end hunger we need to go to the root of why people are struggling to stay above water, and ensure that adequate financial support is in place whenever its most needed.”

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