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Food bank manager: We only help the 'desperate'

The manager of a food bank warehouse in Slough has dismissed Government claims more people are using them because of better marketing, telling Daybreak they only help "people who are desperate".

Sue Sibany-King said they only provided emergency food supplies to those who were referred to them with a voucher.

"We do have so many measures to make sure people can't just come in without a voucher. We have got over 100 referring agencies in this area. People can go to them and they are all assessed by those agencies, then they are given a voucher."

Labour: Food bank use shows cost of living crisis

Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Maria Eagle says government ministers need to "get a grip" on the use of food banks and take the issue seriously.

Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Maria Eagle. Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

She said: "The vast increase in the number of households and families turning to food banks reveals the shocking truth of life under David Cameron's cost-of-living crisis. While those at the very top get a tax break, everyone else is finding life is harder under the Tories.

"Instead of hiding behind the Tory myth, that says the increase in food banks is driving demand, it is time ministers got a grip and took this issue seriously."

DWP: £94bn is being spent on working age benefits

A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions has reacted to news that those using food banks have increased by 163% in the past year:

We're spending £94 billion a year on working age benefits so that the welfare system provides a safety net to millions of people who are on low incomes or unemployed so they can meet their basic needs.

Even the OECD say there are fewer people struggling with their food bills compared with a few years ago, benefit processing times are improving and even the Trussell Trust's own research recognises the effect their marketing activity has on the growth of their business.

The truth is that the employment rate is the highest it's been for five years and our reforms will improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities by promoting work and helping people to lift themselves out of poverty.

– A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman


  1. Penny Marshall

Charities claim thousands without easy access to food

Today's Trussel Trust figures are proof that the government is in breach of human rights law says a group of leading charities, claiming that they can prove thousands of families are without easy access to food.

Labour calls the tripling of need, as revealed by the figures , the shocking reality of the cost of living crisis under David Cameron.

Food bank use 'shocking' in 21st century Britain

A record total of more than 913,000 people received three days' emergency food in the last year, according to a new report from the Trussell Trust.

The Trust's chairman Chris Mould described the statistic as "shocking in 21st century Britain".

That 900,000 people have received three days' food from a food bank - close to triple the numbers helped last year - is shocking in 21st-century Britain.

But, perhaps most worrying of all, this figure is just the tip of the iceberg of UK food poverty. It doesn't include those helped by other emergency food providers, those living in towns where there is no food bank, people who are too ashamed to seek help or the large number of people who are only just coping by eating less and buying cheap food.

– The Trussell Trust's chairman Chris Mould

Almost 1m people received food bank help in past year

Almost a million adults and children received emergency supplies from food banks in the past year - a "shocking" rise of 163% on the previous 12 months - a new report has revealed.

Almost a million adults and children received supplies from food banks in the past year, a new report has found. Credit: Press Association

The Trussell Trust said rising numbers were turning to food banks because their incomes are "squeezed", despite signs of an economic recovery.

A record total of more than 913,000 people received three days' emergency food in the last year, with over half blaming benefit delays or changes.

The trust now has more than 400 food banks across the UK, although it is opening two a week compared with three in 2012/13.

Defra report: Consistent increase in Food bank demand

Food banks are "consistently" seeing an increase in demand, a Defra-commissioned report published today has concluded.

The research found "no systematic evidence on the impact of increased supply and [that] hypotheses of its potential effects are not based on robust evidence."

The findings follow comments made by welfare minister Lord Freud, who had suggested increased usage of food banks could be because more of them exist.

"There is no evidence actually whether the use of food banks is supply-led or demand-led," he said in July last year.

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