Number of UK food bank users up 163%: Charity

16 Apr 2014 14:56

The number of people using emergency supplies from food banks in Britain has increased by ۱۶۳ percent in the past year, a charity warns.

The Trussell Trust, which runs some ۴۰۰ food banks across the UK, said on Wednesday that the number of food parcels given out last year by the charity alone nearly tripled from ۳۴۶,۹۹۲ to ۹۱۳,۱۳۸.

The Trust's chairman Chris Mould described the figures as "shocking in ۲۱st century Britain,” adding, the statistics are “just the tip of the iceberg of UK food poverty.”

Over ۸۰ percent of the food banks blamed harsher benefit sanctions in the last twelve months for the rise in the number of people being referred for emergency food.

The publication of the charity’s report coincided with a letter from a number of religious leaders calling on the British government to tackle a "national crisis" of rising hunger and food poverty.

More than ۴۰ bishops and ۶۰۰ faith leaders signed the letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband, asking them to address the problem of low wages and rising food prices.

Earlier in February, ۲۷ of the ۵۹ Church of England bishops accused the coalition government of creating hardship and hunger for people, saying the welfare cuts have left so many reliant on food banks across the UK.

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