Donated goods on the shelves of Cannock and District Foodbank.
Mapped: Britain’s shameful new foodbank statistic
Foodbanks were used to feed people 1,084,604 times in the 2014-2015 financial year. This is the highest ever figure since records began. It’s an increase of 19% on the previous year.
More than a million. It’s a shocking figure, made all the more so when you realise that 400,000 of those visits were for children. Even worse, this figure only covers foodbanks run by the Trussell Trust, and not foodbanks run by smaller charities or churches. The actual number is even higher.
This figure doesn’t quite tally with the government’s line that we have a strong economy and everyone is sharing in the recovery. A country with a genuinely strong economy and welfare system doesn’t need foodbanks. And now more people than ever before depend on them.
The problem isn’t spread evenly across the UK. The map below shows the percentage of the population visiting Trussell Trust foodbanks in each region of the UK (apart from Scotland and Northern Ireland).
As TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“This should make all of us ashamed, particularly those who claim we have a strong economy and everyone is sharing in the recovery.
“It tells us that the government has done grave damage to the welfare safety net. Of course we should deal with those who abuse it, but vicious sanctions and benefit cuts – even for those who paid in all their working lives – are destroying the support any of us might need if we lose our job or have an accident.”
You can read the Trussell Trust’s statistical report here.