Number of people seeking foodbank help "is bad and getting worse" says Citizens Advice
As new research published today by the Trussell Trust shows that foodbank usage has tripled in the past year, Citizens Advice reports an "alarming" 78% rise in foodbank enquiries at its Bureaux.
Chief Executive of national charity Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, said:
"Foodbanks have no place in modern Britain. The crisis of people seeking emergency help at a foodbank is bad and getting worse. From February to June this year we saw an extremely worrying 78% increase in people going to their local Citizens Advice Bureau for an emergency food parcel. In our Solihull Bureau our advisers say they are now giving out one food parcel every other day.
"Despite positive economic news in the past few months, I am hearing increasing reports from our bureaux of people in work being forced to seek help to feed themselves. For almost seventy five years people have come to Citizens Advice for help with debt issues but increasingly our clients are coming to us just to put food on the table that night.
"With many people struggling to meet living costs, ministers must urgently put in place strong support to help people deal with the upheaval which will take place under Universal Credit. Nine out of ten clients we surveyed say they will need help dealing with monthly payments under the new benefit. Giving people moving onto Universal Credit the option of fortnightly payments will help avoid even more people being forced to turn to foodbanks for help.
"The rapid and alarming increase in foodbanks is a result of the combined impact of low wages, unemployment and public spending cuts. Without urgent action the situation is only going to get worse."
Notes to editors:
- The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
- The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
- To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at adviceguide.org.uk
- You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
- Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
- Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.