The amount of food bank users rises by 400% in just two years
A report reveals that the use of food banks amongst Londoners has increased by 393% in the last two years.
The Trussell Trust has found that there were 12,839 visits to food banks in London in 2011-12 and in the first nine months of the financial year this had increased to 63,397 visits.
The study also found that 65% of Londoners are concerned about the rising cost of food. 66% of Londoners also support the introduction of free healthy school meals for all primary school children, reports 24dash.
The report makes the following recommendations to help alleviate food poverty in the capital:
•· Introduce universal free school meals for all primary school-age children in the capital. Initial estimates suggest this would require an investment of £58.7 million by the mayor.
•· Pilot universal free school meals at a number of secondary schools across London for two years.
•· Every school governing body should have a plan to identify and address hunger in schools and to support families in food poverty.
The report’s author, Fiona Twycross AM, London Assembly Labour Group economy spokesperson, said: “We are seeing a growing food poverty crisis in the capital as incomes continue to be squeezed. It is time the Mayor took concerted action to address this problem, it is a scandal that people cannot afford to feed themselves or their families in modern London. The use of food banks continues to increase at an alarming rate thanks to the continued squeeze on living standards. Today’s report shows the scale of the problem, but it also shows that Londoners are supportive of tools that will tackle this problem. I have presented the Mayor with a fully costed plan to help parents by extending the government’s free school meals for infant school children to all primary school children. The Mayor has the power and resources to extend provision and build on the new consensus that is developing. My report found that two-thirds of Londoners support extending provision.”
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