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Photo Credit:  Credit:Gabriel Bahnareanu
Photo Credit: Credit:Gabriel Bahnareanu
Photo Credit:  Credit:Gabriel Bahnareanu
Photo Credit: Credit:Gabriel Bahnareanu
UK News

62% of working-age adults referred to foodbanks are disabled, says Trussell Trust

The Christian foodbank charity the Trussell Trust has highlighted the disproportionate representation of some groups who are referred to foodbanks, such as people with disabilities and single parents. 

In their report on the 'State of Hunger 2021, they reveal who is most struggling to afford food in the UK, why and where the other pinch points are. 

More than six in ten (62 per cent) working-age people referred to a food bank in early 2020 were disabled - more than three times the number in the UK working age population

Single parent families were also more likely to be forced to go to a food bank with almost one in five of those going to a food bank being single parents (18 per cent). This is disproportionate to the number of people in the population who are single parents, which is about eight per cent. 

The Trussell Trust found that the average household income for people who needed to use a food bank, after housing costs, was £248 a month on average. 

However, it says this is not just about food but also affording the basics as this £248 a month, or £8 a day, has to cover energy and water bills, council tax and other life essentials and is just 13 per cent of the average national income. 

The research shows that extremely low income is one of the main reasons people attend a food bank and the main reason for low income being social security payments failing to cover the cost of living. This is often due to issues such as the five-week wait for a first Universal Credit payment and low levels of payments. 

In mid-2020, 47 per cent of all people using food banks and 41 per cent of disabled people referred were indebted to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), making it the most common creditor to people at food banks. People experiencing poor mental health grew from around half in early 2020 to almost three quarters in mid-2020.  

95 per cent of people referred to a food bank in the Trussell Trust network were not able to afford to eat and stay warm and dry.  

The charity says more people now need the social security system to provide a lifeline to keep them afloat and that this should start with keeping the £20 increase to Universal Credit introduced during the pandemic. 

The findings were discussed by panelists such as Dame Louise Casey and Christian peer Baroness Stroud at an All-Party Parliamentary Group event on destitution this week. 
 
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: "How can anyone in this country stay warm and dry and buy food on just £248 a month after rent? People struggling in extreme poverty are pushed to the doors of food banks because they do not have enough money to survive. Hunger in the UK isn't about food - it's about people not being able to afford the basics. 

"We need government at all levels to commit to ending the need for food banks once and for all and to develop a plan to do so."

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