Food bank use across West Northamptonshire area remains higher than pre-pandemic, figures reveal
Just Trussell Trust food banks in the area handed out more than 6,000 food parcels between April and September this year
More people are relying on food banks in West Northamptonshire than they were before the pandemic, new figures from the Trussell Trust show.
The charity said it is not right that so many people across the UK are facing destitution and warned the need for food banks will rise over the winter.
In West Northamptonshire, 6,644 emergency food parcels – containing three or seven days' worth of supplies – were handed out by the Trussell Trust between April and September.
This was up from 3,481 during the same period in 2019, but below the 7,338 handed out last year.
They were among 935,749 parcels handed out by the charity across the UK over the six-month period, including 56,387 in the East Midlands.
Though below the record 1.3 million dispensed during this period last year, it was 11 percent more than in 2019.
This means around 5,100 emergency food parcels were provided for people across the UK every day, including almost 2,000 for children.
The Trussell Trust said it expects this to rise to more than 7,000 a day in December, as poorer families struggle with rising fuel costs, inflation and the recent removal of the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift.
The figures do not include the number of people helped by thousands of other groups providing food aid such as community organisations and independent food banks.
Emma Revie, Trussell Trust chief executive, said: “Everyone in the UK should be able to afford the essentials – to buy their own food and heat their homes.
“Yet food banks in our network continue to see more and more people facing destitution with an increase in food parcels going to children. This is not right.”
She added: “The answer must be for us to have the stability of a strong enough social security system to protect any one of us when we need it."
More than 350,000 parcels went to children between April and September this year – 15 percent more than in 2019.
In West Northamptonshire, 2,422 were handed to youngsters, compared to 3,321 last year
Jonathan Reynolds, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, said: “Thousands of food parcels given out every day to kids is frankly a disgrace – Britain deserves better than this.
“Conservative complacency and chaos has created a cost of living crisis with tax hikes, cuts to Universal Credit and soaring bills hammering families this winter."
The Government said Universal Credit claimants will benefit from a newly reduced taper rate and increased work allowance, while a Household Support Fund will help vulnerable families in England afford essentials over the coming months.
A spokesman said: “We are committed to supporting people on low incomes and the changes we have made to Universal Credit will see nearly two million of the lowest paid better off by around £1,000 a year.
“The most vulnerable, including those who can’t work, can get additional help with essential costs through our new £500 million support fund.”