The Trussell Trust: Food Banks and the Coronavirus Pandemic

After weeks of lockdown, millions of people placed on furlough by employers and many having lost their jobs, the Trussell Trust has reported a spike in demand from food banks. As the country’s leading food bank charity, the Trussell Trust has encouraged people to maintain their support for their locally administered food banks. While stocks are far from depletion, the charity has encouraged donations to continue, with key items running low. Despite the lockdown, the Trussell Trust’s food banks have remained in operation serving those most in need during the difficult times. With daily updates, the Trussell Trust has ensured that local community food banks are able to serve their clients in a safe and responsible manner. As demand has increased, the Trussell Trust has reminded donors of the need to donate key items, including: cereal, soup, pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, pasta sauce, lentils, beans, pulses, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tea/coffee, tinned fruit, biscuits, UHT milk and fruit juice.

As a result of the coronavirus lockdown, the Trussell Trust has reported an 81 per cent increase in demand for emergency food parcels from food banks. Figures from the last two weeks in March of this year, compared to the same period last year also show a 122 per cent increase in parcels going to children. The food banks charity has vocally argued that the data shows people struggling to make ends meet with income from work or benefits, which explains the increased need for food banks.

Similarly, the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) has also reported an increase in demand for emergency food parcels. Data from the country’s second largest food bank charity shows that, from February to March this year, an increase averaging 59 per cent has been observed. Compared to last year, this represents a demand seventeen times higher than last year.

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