Today, the Trussell Trust reports that food banks in its network across London provided 421,000 emergency food parcels to people facing crisis between April 2020 and March 2021. A total of 159,000 of these went to children – that’s one parcel every three minutes on average
These figures mark an 106% increase on the year before when 204,000 emergency food parcels were distributed in total across London by food banks in the Trussell Trust network.
Worryingly, these figures are just the tip of the iceberg with unprecedented numbers of people being helped by other food aid providers and community-based groups that sprang up to provide emergency food during the pandemic.
Hunger in the UK isn’t about food, the charity says, it’s about people not having enough money for the basics and with high rates of unemployment and record redundancies, more people than ever need the social security system to provide a strong enough lifeline to stay afloat
Across the UK, the Trussell Trust is reporting record levels of need as more than 2.5 million emergency food parcels were given to people during the last 12 months; more than 980,000 of these parcels went to children.
The Trussell Trust is now urgently calling on all levels of government to act. It’s urging candidates from all parties standing in the upcoming May local elections and Mayoral elections to commit to working to end the need for food banks and developing a plan to do so, if elected.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said:
“No one should face the indignity of needing emergency food. Yet our network of food banks across London have continued to provide huge numbers of emergency food parcels as more and more people struggle without enough money for the essentials. This is not right but we know we can build a better future. This pandemic has shown the unexpected can hit suddenly, but we know when we push for change, united by our desire for justice and compassion, the government has to listen and act.
“We are asking you, the public, to write to your local election candidates for a commitment to working to end the need for food banks. Together we can take action now to build a hunger free future.”
The charity is asking the public to encourage candidates to make this pledge and stand for change here: https://www.trusselltrust.org/2021-elections