PCS letter to Santa – part 2 – end the need for foodbanks

02 Dec 2019

Each day up to the general election on 12 December we’re looking at how the next government can play Santa to PCS members by tackling some of the biggest issues they, their families and communities face. Second on our list is for the next government to end the need for foodbanks.

The Trussell Trust’s foodbank network provided 823,145 emergency food parcels to people in crisis between April and September 2019, a 23% increase on the same period in 2018. In the sixth largest economy in the world nobody should have to go to a foodbank in order to feed themselves or their family. The trust is calling for politicians of all parties to pledge to protect people from hunger by ensuring everyone has enough money for the basics.

The charity, which supports a nationwide network of 1200 foodbanks that provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, says this Christmas is expected to be its busiest ever time. The trust say new figures suggest a record number of people in crisis will need support in December. Having analysed how many foodbank parcels were needed in the same month in 2018, taken alongside the increase so far in 2019, “more people than ever” will need its help over the festive period.

186,185 three-day emergency food parcels were provided by its network to people in crisis last Christmas, with almost 80,000 of those going to children. This was 44% higher than the monthly average, and the latest statistics for April to September of this year show a 23% year-on-year increase in food parcels.

Trussell Trust chief executive Emma Revie said: “It’s not right that anyone should have to use a foodbank at any time of year – not just at Christmas.

“Our next government must start working towards a future where no one needs a foodbank.”

Labour pledge

The Labour party has pledged to halve foodbank usage within its first year in government while aiming to end the need for them in 3 years.

The Tories’ flagship social security programme, Universal Credit (UC), has been a catastrophe. It has pushed thousands of people into poverty, caused families to lose their homes and forced parents to visit food banks in order to feed their children. In areas where Universal Credit has been rolled out, foodbank use, rent arrears and evictions have soared.

On average, 12 months after rollout, foodbanks see a 52% increase in demand, compared to 13% in areas with Universal Credit for 3 months or less.

Use your vote in the general election on 12 December to help end the shame of foodbanks by kicking out the Tories.

Find out more about PCS and the general election.

#GE19 #ToriesOut #SantaPCS

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