Politics

Foodbank hell for Britain as demand soars 3,800% under a decade of Tory rule

Foodbank demand has rocketed by 3,772% under a decade of Tory rule, the Mirror can reveal.

Bombshell figures show a surge in need from hungry families after nine years of gruelling austerity.

Britain’s biggest foodbank network had 57 outlets open in the final year of the Labour government in 2009/10.

They provided 40,898 aid packages – the equivalent of 368,082 meals. Of those parcels, 13,959 went to children.

By the end of March the network had 425 foodbanks – a 646% increase.

Their volunteers gave away 1,583,668 packages – 14,253,012 meals – in 2018/19. Some 577,618 parcels went to children.

Jeremy Corbyn said: “These shocking figures should shame the Conservatives. Their policies have pushed people into destitution. It is a national scandal that so many families can’t afford food.”

Trussell Trust director of policy, research and external affairs Garry Lemon said: “We want our next government to start working towards a future where no one needs a foodbank.”

Those in need want an end to Universal Credit delays, benefit payments to cover the cost of living and investment in emergency support.

The number of children living in poverty-hit working homes has risen by 800,000 since 2010.

Child poverty in working families rose to 2.9 million cases last year – an increase of 38%.

One in four children are affected, TUC analysis ­indicated. It blamed in-work benefits cuts, with more than 485,000 children pushed below the breadline.

Weak wage growth and insecure work were also factors.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “No child in Britain should be growing up in poverty.”

Margaret Greenwood, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “The Conservatives and Lib Dems should hang their heads in shame.”

Child Poverty Action Group’s Alison Garnham said: “Every party leader should be alarmed.”

On the front line

Suzanne Nottage is beyond grateful to all those whose generosity and hard work means she can eat.

The 34-year-old, who was at St Paul’s Church foodbank in London’s Brixton this weekend with her fiance Sam Henderson, 35, says: “Thank you to all the people who donate.“

Suzanne, who met Sam while they were recovering from alcohol addiction, says if it hadn’t been for the foodbank, “We would be left without any money”, facing a choice “between paying for food or gas and electricity”.

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