Call for official inquiry into food poverty

Britain's largest food bank network has called on the coalition government to launch an official inquiry into the causes of food poverty, after releasing statistics showing that food bank use has tripled in the space of a year.

The Trussell Trust charity said 355,000 people received food parcels from its food banks between April and September – more than the number given out during the whole of last year. It says the increase is driven largely by hardship caused by benefit delays, welfare reform and low pay – and that the problem of hunger is getting worse.

Chris Mould, executive chairman of the trust, said: 'The level of food poverty in the UK is not acceptable. It's scandalous and it is causing deep distress to thousands of people. The time has come for an official and in-depth inquiry into the causes of food poverty and the consequent rise in the usage of foodbanks'.

An anonymous spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions reportedly said there is 'no robust evidence' that welfare reforms are linked to increased use of food banks. They added that it is 'not surprising' that more people are using food banks, because there are more of them.

Source: Press release 16 October 2013, Trussell Trust
Links: Trussell Trust press release | Citizens Advice press release | TUC press releaseGuardian report | BBC report | Daily Mail report | New Statesman report

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Publication date: 
Oct 16 2013