Berger: Government to blame for huge rise in people relying on food banks

Luciana Berger, MP for Wavertree
Luciana Berger, MP for Wavertree Photo: John Stilwell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The number of people using food banks across Merseyside has risen dramatically in the last six months.

Figures from the charity Fareshare show that demand for food in Merseyside has increased by 50% since July this year.

The UK's largest network of foodbanks, the Trussell Trust, is estimating that they will feed around 250,000 people this year - an increase of 400% over the past two years.

Wavertree MP Luciana Berger will raise the issue during a debate in the House of Commons today.

She said it is a "scandal" that thousands are relying on food banks, and blamed the government for the dramatic rise.

She said: "These figures show the real and growing problem of food poverty on Merseyside and across the UK.

"That thousands of people in one of the richest countries in the world are forced to rely on foodbanks just to be able to eat is a scandal.

"Thanks to this Tory/Lib Dem coalition's austerity programme and delays in paying benefits, food poverty has reached record levels.

"I'm very concerned that these numbers are set to rise thanks to the further cuts announced in last week autumn statement.

"It is time that out of touch minsters did something to tackle our food poverty crisis and help the thousands of people who will be left hungry this Christmas."