Food banks see huge surge in need as the coronavirus pandemic continues

During April 2020, there was a 89% increase in need for emergency food parcels compared to the same month last year.

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Food banks in the Trussell Trust saw an 89% increase in need in April 2020 compared to the same time last year, with a staggering 107% rise in parcels for children.

Key Stats highlight


89% increase

in need across the UK


107% increase

in food parcels for children
(compared to the same period in 2019)

We need change now.

Although recent measures brought in by our government have helped some people stay afloat, we are still seeing far more people needing to use food banks than this time last year. This simply isn’t right.

As part of a coalition of charities, we’re calling for change so that we can get money into people’s pockets quickly during this crisis. We want to see the UK Government create a temporary Coronavirus Emergency Income Support Scheme that would include:

  • Increasing benefits that go to families to help with the costs of raising children
  • Extending the suspension of benefit deductions to cover Advance Payments – the loans offered to cover the five-week wait for a first Universal Credit payment
  • Lifting the benefit cap to ensure this support scheme benefits everyone

We need the government to do the right thing, protecting those who are facing or at risk of financial hardship and leaving no one behind.

This includes making sure that – in England – all local authorities have enough funding to provide emergency cash grants, helping people access support quickly.

And we are also urging the Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to use all their powers and work with partners to ensure people get the financial support they need to stay afloat.

“We have been seeing rises in food bank need for the past five years but this 89% increase – with the number of families coming to food banks doubling – is completely unprecedented and not right. People need to be able to put food on their table. The government must put urgent support in place to ensure people already struggling to keep their heads above water can stay afloat. We have outlined what we need our government to do – it’s in our power to protect one another, we’ve seen it during this health crisis, and we need it to continue during this economic one.”

Emma Revie – CEO the Trussell Trust

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