Mhairi Black, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, has urged the UK Government ‘to stop the Foobank use crisis’.
New figures released by the Trussell Trust revealed that 87,496 food parcels went to children across the UK during the summer holiday period last year – around a 20% increase over the same period in 2017.
The statistics also found that between 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2019, the Trussell Trust provided 1,583,668 emergency supplies to people in crisis – a rise of 18.8% compared to the previous year.
The Trussell Trust, which manages a network of food banks across the UK, warned that this summer period could be its “busiest to date.”
Mhairi Black has continuously asked the UK Government to calm the austerity measures that have seen such a drastic rise in need for food bank supplies. Mhairi has warned that whoever the new Prime Minister is, they must stop directing austerity towards our most vulnerable people.
Mhairi Black, said: “It comes as no surprise to me that these figures are such drastic reading and that the Trussell Trust are warning that this summer could see the worst figures yet. The Tories continue to plunge families into absolute poverty. It is targeted austerity, the complete denial to acknowledge this by the Conservative party over the last decade has been nothing short of a complete embarrassment and they should hang their heads in shame.”
“Renfrewshire food bank do a fantastic job of providing essentials for those that need it the most across Renfrewshire. Whether it is Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt who takes over as the Prime Minister, they must accept that the austerity measures that have been implemented do not work and we are seeing a poverty crisis across the UK.
“If the UK Government continue to bury their heads in the sand over this crisis then full powers should be devolved to the Scottish Government so we can end this targeted austerity and treat benefit claimants with dignity and respect.”
The Trussell Trust’s chief executive Emma Revie, said: “Food banks will do all they can to help families over the summer, with many running holiday clubs to support parents who find that their income simply won’t stretch to meet the extra pressure of missing free school meals or paying for additional childcare during the holidays. But no charity can replace the dignity of having enough money for the basics.
“While it’s great to see schemes in place to tackle holiday hunger, food banks and other emergency food provision cannot, and must not, be a long term solution to poverty. Ultimately, we should all be protected from needing a food bank’s help, no matter the time of the year.
“If we are to end hunger in the UK, we need to make sure everyone is anchored from being swept into poverty. The Government needs to ensure benefit payments reflect the true cost of living and work is secure, paying the real Living Wage. Every family should have enough money coming in for a decent standard of living. No child should face going hungry in the UK.”