Young people are using food banks due to benefit sanctions
Almost 80% of food banks referrals by the YMCA are due to benefit sanctions
New research has found that the vast majority of YMCAs in England have to refer young people to food banks in order for them to be able to eat. Over the last year 5,000 young people with vulnerabilities were referred to food banks, reports 24dash.
The ‘Food for Thought’ report by YMCA England shows how this situation is due to failings in the welfare system. 79% of YMCA referrals are directly caused by delays in receiving benefit payments and punitive sanctions.
Denise Hatton, chief executive, YMCA England said: “The government cannot continue to put its head in the sand with regard to the problems which are driving more and more young people each year to depend on food parcels. The welfare system was set up to protect and provide a safety net for those individuals in their time of need and so that no-one would be left without money to be able to afford food. However our evidence shows it is currently failing in this role. Urgent action needs to be taken in order to protect the most vulnerable in our society and ensure that young people are given the support they need to provide for themselves. It is unacceptable in this day and age, that anyone should have to rely on the kindness of strangers in order to eat.”
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Jaqui Smith - Young Womens Housing Project