Lee Anderson, the MP for Ashfield, has been criticized for linking the use of food banks with cooking skills and budgeting.
The latest figures show reliance on food banks is growing across the UK as the cost of living crisis deepens, although a Conservative MP says people use use them because they “can’t cook properly” and “have no budget”.
Almost 2.2 million emergency food packages were distributed across Britain last year, including more than 830,000 for children, data released last month (April 27) by the Trussell Trust shows.
Lee Anderson, 55, the Conservative MP for Ashfield, said yesterday (May 11) that there is no “big use for food banks” in the UK, but “generation after generation. others can’t cook properly” and “have no budget”.
But the figures show that food bank usage is directly impacted by major problems happening in the country, from the pandemic to the current energy crisis.
The number of emergency food parcels delivered by the Trussell Trust food bank has steadily increased since 2014-15 with the number peaking at 2.6 million in 2020-21, during the height of the pandemic. coronavirus.
The most recent numbers for 2021-22 show a 15% drop from the previous year’s figures.
However, the figure given is still 14% higher than during 2019-20 (pre-pandemic) and this is only the second time the charity’s food banks have provided more than 2 million packages – providing provides an early indication of the impact of costs. of the life crisis that is happening to households across the country.
Mr Anderson’s comments were stoned by some politicians with Labor who said the comments were “beyond conviction” and the Liberal Democrats described them as “disgraceful” and “a disgrace” insult to millions of hard-working people”.
The Trussell Trust said the Government must act quickly to lessen the impact of the crisis on vulnerable communities, and warned people are skipping meals to feed their children as they sink deeper into the crisis. financial towel.
Which region relies the most on food banks?
NationalWorld analysis found that residents in some councils may be more dependent on food bank parcels than in others.
Based on an analysis of total population versus total food packages distributed, Eastbourne residents received the highest level of support. The South East council area had a share of 17,440 emergency food packages distributed per 100,000 people last year – the highest in the UK.
This is followed by Oadby and Wigston in the East Midlands at 14,768, and Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East at 14,661.
Based on overall parcels delivered, Sheffield residents received the most support with 60,142 packages, followed by Birmingham with 51,319 and Newcastle with 44,983. The Trussell Trust food banks in Sheffield also offer the largest number of emergency food packages for children, providing a total of 22,926 packages.
By region, Wales is said to have the highest rate of use of food parcels in the UK at 4,140 food packages distributed per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by the North East with 3,735 and Scotland with 3,605.
What needs to be done to help people?
The Trussell Trust currently has more than 1,600 distribution centers operating in 293 local governments across the UK.
Chief executive Emma Revie called on the Government to act because people are “skipping meals to feed their children”.
“The food banks in our network tell us this can only get worse as their communities are pushed deeper into financial hardship,” she said.
“There is still time for the UK government to do the right thing. We are calling on the UK government to deliver benefits that match the true cost of living.
“As an urgent first step, benefits should be increased to at least 7%, keeping up with rising costs of living. In the long run, we need the Government to make a commitment in the welfare system to ensure that everyone has enough money in their pocket to avoid falling into poverty.
“By failing to make payments in the times we face, the Government now risks turning the cost of living crisis into a national emergency.”
What is the government doing to help?
A government spokesman said: “We recognize the pressures on the cost of living and we are doing what we can to help, including spending £22 billion over the next financial year to support people on energy bills and fuel tax cuts.
“For the hardest hit, we are putting an average of £1,000 more a year in the pockets of working families thanks to Universal Credit Funded to help with the cost of everyday essentials. “
https://www.nationalworld.com/news/politics/cost-of-living-crisis-emergency-food-parcels-worst-affected-councils-3669820 Number of emergency food parcels delivered by UK food banks in the last year