Last year, food banks in our network gave out a record 1.6 million food bank parcels to people in crisis. Thats enough to feed the populations of Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Sheffield combined. This is a 19% increase on the previous year, and more than half a million of these parcels went to children.
In the last five years, food bank use in our network has increased by 73%. Year upon year, more and more people are struggling to eat because they simply cannot afford food.
There are more than 1,200 food bank centres in our network - about two thirds of all food banks in the UK. We support food banks to provide three days nutritionally-balanced emergency food to people in crisis, as well as support to help people resolve the challenges theyre facing.
We need to ensure that everyone has enough money coming in to cover the cost of essentials, whether from secure work that pays real Living Wage or a benefits system that anchors people from being swept into poverty. We dont want to exist, and we dont think we should need to. No charity can replace the dignity of having financial security. We know this situation can be fixed - a future where no one needs a food bank is possible if benefits cover the true cost of living and work is secure, paying the real Living Wage.