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Huge rise in numbers of people using food banks

  Anon-338298 06:58 16 Apr 2014

This is an interesting story

An increase from 314,000 to 913,000 food parcels distributed in one year is massive.

  Anon-338298 10:04 17 Apr 2014

"If a limited number of people are having recourse to food banks multiple times that needs a different approach to the one that will be most helpful if more people are using a food bank just once."

The Trussell Trust (The UK's biggest foodbank operator) says that 913,138 adults and children were provided with three days emergency food supplies from its food centres in the year 2013/2014, compared to 346,992 for the previous 12 month period. It says the primary reason given by people needing food was that they were waiting for delayed benefit payments, the second biggest reason was low income, followed by changes in benefit payments.

The trust says it cannot record the number of 'unique' visitors, but it knows that recent evidence collected from a sample of foodbanks indicates that over 65 percent of foodbank users were only helped once over a six month period, and that only 7.4% of people needed four or more vouchers.

The point I made in my original post was that there has been a massive increase in the number of food parcels handed out, which is why I made my 'it isn't really the point' remark. It's obvious that the amount of food distributed has increased dramatically, and if 65% of people needing food only once is true of the country as a whole then there has indeed been a big increase in the number of people involved.

  Anon-314560 10:09 17 Apr 2014

forum member just this once take a step back, take a breath and think. The wording in the report may not be to your liking and be grammatically correct but it certainly means there are a lot more people using food banks.

The food banks do not have methods in place to work out the correct figures and this government certainly will not in case it shows their policy's are causing hardship to part of the lower income group.

  Anon-314560 10:11 17 Apr 2014

FE sorry posted before I saw your reply.

  Anon-321355 11:48 17 Apr 2014

One thing that make me really annoyed, is seeing people squabble over 'supposed' statistics, instead of getting out there in the real world for their information.

Perhaps a venture or experience worth taking or looking into, is the amount of increased shoplifting going on. And some of that is for food, either to sell on or for the person to consume themselves.

In my local court's we see and read of cases on a daily basis, were stealing food is concerned, sometimes down to a few items costing less than £5.00 total (a loaf of bread, some spread and cheese slices for example). Seeing some of the results of sentencing, its obvious that the courts are getting very sentimental with some offender's!.

  Anon-386689 14:32 17 Apr 2014

Perhaps it would be a good time to take a a breath, step back and consider a few points.

  1. Where does Government get its money. It cannot earn it and the only other source can only be through taxation. If it spends taxpayer money on food banks this would only increase the level of benefits paid out and could cause taxation to rise.
  2. Before any benefit system existed there was, pretty much, only the Workhouse, Church or family. People used the Workhouse as hospital, school and "food bank" in the main. The Church ran some facilities but were variable from area to area. Families did what they could.
  3. Today there are many forms of benefits available - regardless of whether under a single blanket heading or many. People who need it, get Government (taxpayers) money for for food, housing and to seek work. They get money for each child. They are not charged for necessary medication, hospitalisation or general education.

We may go through periods of difficulty but in general we are lucky in the UK compared to many. If the benefit system is used correctly and not abused and if the funds provided are used for their correct purpose most people can get by on them. Those who often complain the loudest that they "don't have enough to live on" may often be seen smoking and drinking money given to them.

Whilst I accept there is genuine hardship in some families where there is also a willingness to help themselves the polar opposite also exists. As a result I feel that perhaps the simplistic test of "benefits" to gain access to food bank facilities is being abused and this has also caused the increased use discussed here.

  Anon-314560 15:18 17 Apr 2014

Maybe if the people who avoid paying tax whether legally or not contributed to to system more then more could be done to help, benefit fraud is £1 billion a year, with held tax is £15 billion and that doesn't include corporations under paying or not paying tax.

Since the start of this recession the top 1,000 people have seen their wealth increase by £155 billion, not bad.

  Anon-338298 15:47 17 Apr 2014


Getting out there in the real world is not going to make me any wiser than you about the causes and scale of food-bank use. You don't have any more information about it than I do, and yet you feel qualified to allude to people squabbling over 'supposed' statistics.

There is nothing supposed about the statistics produced by the Trussell Trust, it is Britain's biggest operator of foodbanks, and can produce accurate figures of the number of food parcels it hands out. What it cannot do is produce full year figures for the number of unique visitors it is getting. It has the six-month data which I mentioned, and that provides a pretty good indicator.

Arguments tend to be about the interpretation of the figures, not about the data themselves.

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