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  1. ITV Report

Key facts about foodbank use

Church leaders and MPs have launched a blueprint to eliminate hunger in Britain by 2020 Credit: PA

A new report into the use of food banks in Britain says an "unprecedented" number of people now depend on emergency food aid.

Here are some facts about the use of food banks:

  • More than 400 food banks are now in operation, with around two opening every week
  • 913,138 people - a third of them children - were given three days of emergency food between 2013-2014, compared to 346,992 people in 2012-2013
  • In 2011-2012, 128,697 people used food banks - the same number as the previous three years put together
  • In 2013-2014, 30% of visitors - the highest proportion - said they visited a food bank because of delays in receiving their benefits
  • The second most common reason was because of low income followed by benefit changes
  • A typical food box contains a minimum of three days' nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food such UHT milk, pasta and rice and tins of sauces, vegetables and meat

The Trussell Trust foodbank network blames the rising cost of living, static incomes and changes to benefits for the dramatic rise in the number of people in need of emergency food.

Homelessness, debt and domestic violence were among the other reasons that people visited.

The Department for Work and Pensions has previously argued that there is "no robust evidence" to suggest that welfare reforms or benefit administration are linked to increased use of food banks.

Those opening up new food banks say they are responding to a need that has always existed but that welfare reform has exacerbated.

But critics say food banks opening up and offering free food only creates more demand.

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