End of Year Stats
“Benefit levels must keep pace with rising cost of essentials” urges The Trussell Trust after record increase in foodbank figures.
The number of three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis by Trussell Trust foodbanks in the financial year 2017-2018.
Between 1st April 2017 and 31st March 2018, The Trussell Trust’s foodbank network distributed 1,332,952 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis, a 13% increase on the previous year. 484,026 of these went to children.This is a higher increase than the previous financial year, where foodbank use was up by 6%.
Number of three-day emergency food supplies given by Trussell Trust foodbanks
“As a nation, we expect no one should be left hungry or destitute – illness, disability, family breakdown or the loss of a job could happen to any of us, and we owe it to each other to make sure sufficient financial support is in place when we need it most.
It’s hard to break free from hunger if there isn’t enough money coming in to cover the rising cost of absolute essentials like food and housing. For too many people staying above water is a daily struggle. It’s completely unacceptable that anyone is forced to turn to a foodbank as a result.
Universal Credit is the future of our benefits system. It’s vital we get it right, and ensure levels of payment keep pace with the rising cost of essentials, particularly for groups of people we know are already more likely to need a foodbank – disabled people, people dealing with an illness, families with children and single parents.”
Primary Reasons for Referral to Trussell Trust foodbanks in 2017-2018
The top four reasons for referral to a foodbank in The Trussell Trust network in 2017-18 were ‘low income – benefits, not earning’, ‘benefit delay’, ‘benefit change’ and ‘debt’.
A growing proportion of foodbank referrals are due to benefit levels not covering the costs of essentials
An indicative sample of referrals shows ‘low income – benefits, not earning’ is the biggest single, and fastest growing, reason for referral to a foodbank.
Low income accounts
for 28% of referrals
‘Low income – benefits, not earning’ is the biggest single, and fastest growing, reason for referral to a foodbank. Analysis of trends over time demonstrates this proportion of households has significantly increased since April 2016, suggesting an urgent need to look at how adequate our current benefit levels are.
Benefit delays accounts
for 24% of referrals
The statistics show the number of referrals due to ‘new claim not yet awarded’ and ‘awaiting first payment’ have both increased since April 2016.
Benefit change accounts for 18% referrals
New data about the types of benefit change driving foodbank use is clear: whilst referrals due to ‘benefit sanction’ have declined over the last year, those due to ‘reduction in benefit value’ have the fastest growth rate of all referrals made due to a benefit change, and those due to ‘moving to a different benefit’ have also grown significantly.
Debt accounts for 9% of referrals
Debt accounted for an increasing percentage of referrals – 9% up from 8% of referrals in the past year – and the statistics show the essential costs of housing and utility bills are increasingly driving foodbank referrals for this reason, with the proportion of referrals due to housing debt and utility bill debt increasing significantly since April 2016.
Universal Credit and foodbank use
Universal Credit is not the only benefit people at foodbanks are experiencing issues with, but it is a significant factor – half of referrals made due to ‘moving onto a different benefit’ in the last year were related to Universal Credit.
Foodbank Statistics for previous Financial Years with Regional Breakdown
1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018
1,332,952 three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis
Regional breakdown for the financial year 2017/18
|Yorkshire & Humberside||49887||27524||77411|
1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017
1,182,954 three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis
- Adults - 746,016
- Children - 436,938
Regional breakdown for the financial year 2016/17
|Yorkshire & Humberside||44,738||24,542||69,280|
1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016
1,109,309 three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis
Regional breakdown for the financial year 2015/16
|Yorkshire & Humberside||41,149||23,910||65,059|
1 April 2014 – 31 March 2015
1,084,604 three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis
Regional breakdown for the financial year 2014/15
|Yorkshire & Humberside||38,989||21,197||60,186|
1 April 2013 – 31 March 2014
913,138 three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis
Regional breakdown for the financial year 2013/14
|Yorkshire & Humberside||25,167||12,236||37,403|
1 April 2012 – 31 March 2013
346,992 three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis
Regional breakdown for the financial year 2012/13
|Yorkshire & Humberside||7004||3376||10,380|
What do these stats show?
Our statistics are a measure of volume rather than unique users, and on average people needed around two foodbank referrals in the last year. The data is collected using an online system into which foodbanks enter data from each foodbank voucher, and the number of three-day emergency food supplies is recorded.
For example, if a family of three was referred to a foodbank twice in one year, this would count as six supplies on the system because it would reflect six instances on which a supply went to someone in the household. However, if a family of three were only referred to a foodbank once, this would count as three supplies.
Trussell Trust figures cannot be used to fully explain the scale of foodbank use across the UK, because our figures relate to foodbanks in our network and not to the hundreds of independent food aid providers. Our network of over 420 foodbanks operate out of more than 1,230 centres across the UK. Research from the Independent Food Aid Network suggests these centres account for roughly two-thirds of all emergency food bank provision in the UK – you can read more about this here.
foodbanks operate within the Trussell Trust Network
tonnes of food donated by the public in 2017/2018 to Trussell Trust foodbanks
frontline professionals such as doctors and social workers give foodbank vouchers to people in crisis
people volunteered with a Trussell Trust foodbank in 2017/2018