The number of food bank parcels given out in the West of England has soared by 85% over the past five years, with Metro Mayor Dan Norris branding the figures “scandalous”.
New figures released by Trussell Trust show that in the past year to March 31, its food banks handed out a total of 37,649 food parcels in the region – including 15,230 to children.
This is a staggering rise of 85% on the same period five years ago.
The numbers have been driven by the shocking 134% jump in numbers using food parcels in Bristol, although there are increases across the region. There has been a 35% increase in food bank users in Bath and North East Somerset and a 3% upsurge in South Gloucestershire.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris warned of an accelerating crisis as the cost of living continues to soar as he laid the blame squarely at the door of the Government. He said: “These figures are as revealing as they are shocking. Food banks are a symptom of more than a decade of Tory failure on the economy and ministers must now offer real help to working people across the West of England struggling to feed themselves. As a start, to address these scandalous figures, the Government should back Labour’s call for an emergency budget to offer real solutions during the cost-of-living crisis. And while I pay huge tribute to all the amazing donators and the incredible teams of volunteers involved with our foodbanks, I know they agree with me that none of them should exist in the 21st century. It should be a matter of shame for this Government that food banks have become an accepted reality in our region”.
Notes to editors:
- In Bristol, the numbers of food parcels handed out has increased from 11,387 to 26,691 (134% jump)
- In Bath and North East Somerset, the numbers of food parcels handed out has increased from 5,273 to 7,106 (35% jump)
- In South Gloucestershire, the numbers of food parcels handed out has increased from 3,737 to 3,852 (3% jump)