Trussell Trust foodbanks have handed out tens of thousands of emergency food parcels to people in need in Leeds over the last year.
Leeds North and West Foodbank and Leeds South and East Foodbank have revealed they provided 24,210 three day emergency food parcels between April 2018 to March 2019. Out of these, 9,546 went to children.
The figures were up 30 per cent on the same period last year. The Leeds foodbanks are backing calls from the Trussell Trust to ensure the benefits system is able to protect people from poverty. The charities believe the local increase is due to people struggling with continued issues with benefit payments; issues with Universal Credit such as the five-week wait; and insecure work.
Karen Burgon, project director of Leeds North and West Foodbank, said: “No one in Leeds should need a food bank’s help and we want to see an end to local people needing emergency food at all.
“It doesn’t have to be this way - our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty. Universal Credit should be part of the solution but currently the five week wait is leaving many without enough money to cover the basics. This isn’t right.
Wendy Doyle, project manager of Leeds South and East Foodbank, added: “Until we reach a future where food banks are no longer needed, we’ll continue to provide vital support when it matters most. “Our vital work in the community has only been possible in the last year because of the incredible generosity shown by local people in donating food, time and funds.”
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