Food Bank Dependency Hits New Highs in the UK, Canada

The Trussell Trust, a UK-based charity that runs a network of food banks, has released a new report showing that food bank use in the UK reached a record high in the financial year 2022-2023. The report found that food banks in the network distributed 2,986,203 emergency food parcels in 2022-2023, an increase of 50% from the previous year.

The report stated that the number of people using food banks has increased steadily over the past few years. In 2017-2018, the Trussell Trust network distributed 1.2 million emergency food parcels. By 2021-2022, this number had increased to 2.2 million and jumped further to almost 3 million in 2022-2023.

Via the Trussell Trust

In England, the number of people using food banks increased by 52%, in Scotland by 47%, in Wales by 44%, and in Northern Ireland by 38%. The number of young people using food banks is also going up, with 1 in 8 food parcels now going to children — from 1 in 10 in 2021-2022 and 1 in 12 in 2020-2021.

Via the Trussell Trust

The report attributes the increase in food bank use to a number of factors, including the rising cost of living, cuts to welfare benefits, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The cost of living has been sharply rising in the UK for several years, with the cost of energy and food going up significantly, making it difficult for many people to afford to buy the food they need.

The UK government has also made a number of cuts to welfare benefits, such as Universal Credit. The Covid-19 pandemic, meanwhile, has led to job losses and reduced incomes for many people.

Food Banks in Canada

A similar trend was seen in Toronto early last month. Daily Bread Food Bank reported 270,000 visits across its programs and partners in March — the highest in the food bank’s 40-year history. According to the charity, they’re seeing 12,000 new faces joining the food bank network every month over the past three years. This number is four times the figures before the pandemic. 

Before the pandemic, the organization budgeted $1.5 million to spend on food every year. These days, they’re spending about $1.8 million every month.

In 2023 so far, Daily Bread found that 33% of their clients are full-time employees struggling to make ends meet. They are also seeing a rising number of children using food banks. In March, 1 out of 4 users was a child, marking the first increase in 25 years.

“We are in a crisis,” Daily Bread Food Bank CEO Neil Hetherington told the press in April. “There is no sign of relief.” 

Information for this story was found via the Trussell Trust, Daily Bread, Toronto Star, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply