Charities will need £1m for increased demand in food banks

  • A charity has said that food banks will need increased funding due to increased demand following the government reforms.

    Trussell Trust, who have over 300 food banks throughout the UK, have launched an appeal as they say the policy makers don't understand the reality of poverty.

    There is expected to be a huge pressure on food banks, as people whose budgets are already stretched turn to charities after cuts to the welfare budget are introduced.

     The Trust are expecting to be giving food to 300,000 people in 2012-2013, which is up from 29,000 in 2009-2010.

    Iain Duncan Smith puts this down to good marketing by the charity, but Christopher Mould, chief executive of Trussell Trust says there is a very strong link between real-terms welfare cuts and increase use of food banks.

    From 1st April, annual rises in benefit payments will be cut to an increase of just 1% and bedroom tax will be introduced to 660,000 households with a spare room, averaging at £14 per week cut to their housing benefit. There will also be a benefit cap trialled in London from this date, predicted to cost 50,000 households an average of £93 per week when introduced.

    The Trust have launched a £1m Easter Appeal to help them cope with the expected increase in demand after welfare reforms come into force.

    Mr Mould said:

    There’s a misconception that UK hunger is about homelessness but the reality is that one in five UK mums regularly skip meals to feed their children and less than 5% of foodbank clients are homeless.

    Foodbanks are seeing working people come in on their lunchbreaks. If incomes are reduced further food poverty will get worse.

    When people are on low incomes and just managing to get by, marginal changes that appear to other people to be really quite small, just a few pounds here and there each week, are very significant. They can be the difference between getting food on the table or not.

    People that have been involved in formulating the new welfare policy don't have an adequate understanding of how precarious the situation for people on low incomes has become.

    A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions said that though the Government recognises the role of voluntary organisations in communities, benefit payments were high enough to stop people going hungry.

     

     


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