Foodbanks braced for busiest December yet as new figures suggest record number of people in crisis will need support ahead of Christmas
With Christmas only a few weeks away, the Trussell Trust is concerned new figures from December 2018, taken alongside the increase in food bank parcels needed so far this year, suggest more people than ever will need a food bank’s help.
Data recently released shows December 2018 was the busiest month for food banks last year. 185 three-day emergency food parcels were provided by food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network to people in crisis; 78,536 of these went to children. This is 44% higher than the monthly average for the 2018-19 financial year.
Just weeks ago, the charity published figures for April – Sept 2019, showing that there has already been a 23% increase in the number of food parcels provided compared to the same period in 2018.
The Trussell Trust is therefore encouraging the public to do two things ahead of this Christmas.
First, it’s asking the public to donate to their local food bank as soon as possible, to ensure vital help is there for people pulled into crisis by increased pressure from heating bills, food and other essentials during the lead up to Christmas. Volunteers will be stretched supporting more people than ever, so the earlier donations are made, the more time volunteers will have to distribute them to people referred.
Second, in the run up to the General Election, it’s asking the public to ask candidates on all sides to pledge to protect people from hunger by ensuring everyone has enough money for the basics.
The charity says the next government can start working towards a future where no one needs a food bank by:
- Ending the five week wait for Universal Credit
- Ensuring benefit payments cover the cost of living
- Investing in local emergency support for people in crisis