Dawn Butler, MP for Brent Central, has criticised the Government after new figures showed a rise in the distribution of emergency food supplies by foodbanks.
Statistics from the Trussell Trust, whose national network of foodbanks works to stop UK hunger and poverty, showed that between 1st April and 30th September in Brent Central, 1790 three-day emergency food supplies were given to local people in crisis, with 497 going to children.
Across the UK, foodbanks in The Trussell Trust network distributed 658,048 three day emergency food supplies to help people in crisis, a rise of 13% for the same period last year.
Of these, 232,761 went to children. This is a measure of volume rather than unique users, and on average people needed 1.7 foodbank referrals in a six month period.
The Trussell Trust is calling for the reduction in the 5 week minimum wait for the first Universal Credit payment, to prevent even more people being forced to foodbanks this winter.
Dawn Butler, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, said:
“I am appalled by these shocking figures and I am particularly worried that this crisis is only going to get worse during the winter period.
It is even more shameful that despite this, the Government chose to fully roll out the failing Universal Credit in Brent in November, which will only increase the hardship families face over Christmas. It must be stopped.
The Trussell Trust does amazing work in providing a lifeline for families, and I would also encourage everyone in the community to do what they can to help others who may be struggling.
However the scale of foodbank use under this Conservative Government is a disgrace with so many families unable to afford food and it must be tackled immediately.”