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UK News

Bishop and Trussell Trust team up to urge Government action on food banks

by Alex Collett

The Bishop of Durham and the Trussell Trust are calling for the Government to take urgent action to help prevent hundreds of thousands more families being forced to the doors of food banks

New figures released by the trust show more than 2.1 million food parcels were provided across in the UK in the last year.  

Of those, 800,000 were for children. The charity warns the situation is likely to worsen as the cost of living crisis develops. 

Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, said: "I'm deeply concerned by the latest figures from the Trussell Trust which paint a bleak picture of acute need across the country. 

"The plight of families will only get worse as we see inflation at its highest level in a generation and soaring energy bills.

"Too many families are being pushed deeper into poverty and being left with no option but to use a food bank. 

"This simply isn't right and we all deserve the dignity of being able to put food on the table to feed our families. 

"But there is still time for the government to take action and put more money into the pockets of people at the sharpest end of this crisis. 

"That's why I'm calling on them to act with compassion and give people the dignity of being able to put food on the table."

Rory Wea,l senior policy manager for the Trussell Trust, told Premier what they would like to see change to help families in need: "All of these issues are combining to put unprecedented amounts of pressure on food banks, who will continue to support their communities' day in day out. 

"They are really having to pick up the pieces for the UK government's inaction and inability to tackle the cost of living crisis, that we're seeing and that's why today we have the Bishop of Durham with many of our partners and food banks.

"We're all calling for the government to really seriously take the steps needed to protect people on the lowest income to ensure that our benefit system keeps pace with this cost of living increase. 

"That's got to start with a 7% increase the value of benefits just to ensure people have the resources to afford the most basic essentials. 

"It can't be right the food banks keep picking up the pieces and that's why we need this action from government to ensure that everybody has what they need to keep families warm and clean."

In response, a representative from the Department of Work and Pensions said: "We recognise the pressures on the cost of living and we are doing what we can to help, including spending £22-billion across the next financial year to support people with energy bills and cut fuel duty.

"For the hardest hit, we're putting an average of £1,000 more per year into the pockets of working families on Universal Credit, have also boosted the minimum wage by more than £1,000 a year for full-time workers and our Household Support Fund is there to help with the cost of everyday essentials."

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