Food banks appeal for donations ahead of expected rise in demand from hungry children over summer holidays
Trussell Trust says increase due to lack of access to free school meals
Britain’s biggest network of food banks has appealed for donations owing to an increasing demand from families during the summer holidays.
The Trussell Trust, an anti-poverty charity, said a rise in the number of children using food banks in July and August 2017 was driven by a lack of access to free school meals outside term-time.
The charity revealed its 420 food banks provided more than 204,000 three-day emergency supplies last summer, 74,000 of which went to children, 3,500 more than in May and June.
Demand for food bank supplies rocketed by 13% in the 12 months to March, according to latest figures.
The need for extra support during the summer is triggered by kids who would usually get free school meals needing to be fed at home instead.
That piles extra pressure on stretched household budgets, forcing more hard-up families to seek help from foodbanks.
Last May and June, 70,510 supplies went to children – so the summer holiday months saw a 4.96% surge in demand from youngsters.
A report from Parliament’s cross-party group on hunger estimated the loss of free school meals during the holidays adds between £30 and £40 a week to parents’ outgoings for one child.
Volunteers at the Trussell Trust’s 420 centres across the UK could end up feeding a record number of poverty-stricken kids during this year’s summer break.
Operations director Samantha Stapley said: “Foodbanks cannot, and must not, be a long term to solution to hunger at any time of year.
“No one should face going hungry, and although our network will be doing all they can this summer to help families struggling to make the money they have stretch to cover the essentials, no charity can replace people having enough money for the basics.
“There are changes we can make as a nation to help during the holidays, but if we are to protect each other from hunger whatever the time of year, we have to go further than that.
“We know particular groups of people are most likely to need a foodbank, so let’s make sure no one is swept into destitution.
“Our benefits system can, and must, act as an anchor to protect people from being pulled into poverty.”
Charity stocks of food risk running low in the summer with figures showing more is given away than donated.
Last July and August 1,649 tonnes of food were donated to Trussell Trust foodbanks, while 1,813 tonnes of food were distributed – a difference of 164 tonnes.
The network urged kind-hearted donors to check was supplies were most needed at their local centre.
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Source : https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/food-bank-donations-uk-children-hunger-summer-holidays-trussel-trust-a8475516.html
Source : https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/foodbanks-set-hand-out-two-13020149