End of Year Stats

Record 1.6m food bank parcels given to people in the past year as the Trussell Trust calls for an end to Universal Credit five week wait

1.6 million

The number of three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis by Trussell Trust food banks in the financial year 2018-2019.

Between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, the Trussell Trust’s food bank network distributed 1.6 million three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis, a 19% increase on the previous year. More than half a million of these went to children. 

Read the press release

In the last five years, food bank use in our network has increased by 73%

“What we are seeing year-upon-year is more and more people struggling to eat because they simply cannot afford food. This is not right.

“Enough is enough. We know this situation can be fixed – that’s why we’re campaigning to create a future where no one needs a food bank. Our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty. Universal Credit should be part of the solution but currently the five week wait is leaving many without enough money to cover the basics. As a priority, we’re urging the government to end the wait for Universal Credit to ease the pressure on thousands of households.  

“Ultimately, it’s unacceptable that anyone should have to use a food bank in the first place. No charity can replace the dignity of having financial security. That’s why in the long-term, we’re urging the Government to ensure benefit payments reflect the true cost of living and work is secure, paying the real Living Wage, to help ensure we are all anchored from poverty.”

emma-revie-chief-executive-trussell-trust-8762-2

Emma Revie
Chief Executive

Primary Reasons for Referral to Trussell Trust food banks in 2017-2018

The top three reasons for referral to a food bank in the Trussell Trust network in 2017-18 were ‘income not covering essential costs’, ‘benefit delays’ and ‘benefit changes’.

End the five week wait for Universal Credit

Universal Credit is not the only benefit payment people referred to food banks have experienced problems with. But it is a key driver behind the increased food bank use.

A big problem with Universal Credit is that everyone who applies has to wait at least five weeks for a full payment – some are left waiting longer. This is leaving many people without enough money to cover the basics, forcing them to food banks.

Ending the five week wait should be the Government’s first priority to help create a future without food banks.

Take action

Food bank Statistics for previous Financial Years with Regional Breakdown

1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019

1,583,668

1,583,668 three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis

  • Adults
  • Children

Regional breakdown for the financial year 2018/19

REGION ADULTS CHILDREN TOTAL
Scotland 141,195 69,410 210,605
Wales 72,580 40,793 113,373
Northern Ireland 21,592 15,191 36,783
North East 55,713 32,995 88,708
North West 139,703 83,019 222,722
Yorkshire & Humberside 57,252 32,589 89,841
West Midlands 91,212 51,022 142,234
East Midlands 47,331 28,328 75,659
East 96,037 60,044 156,081
London 106,737 59,775 166,512
South West 83,281 49,229 132,510
South East 93,417 55,223 148,640
TOTAL 1,006,050 577,618 1,583,668

1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018

1,332,952

1,332,952 three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis

  • Adults
  • Children

Regional breakdown for the financial year 2017/18

REGION ADULTS CHILDREN TOTAL
Scotland 115587 55038 170625
Wales 62947 35403 98350
Northern Ireland 19144 13289 32433
North East 40755 23454 64209
North West 122605 74577 197182
Yorkshire & Humberside 49887 27524 77411
West Midlands 76702 43244 119946
East Midlands 41290 23932 65222
East 80263 48998 129261
London 86607 47637 134244
South West 76315 44651 120966
South East 76824 46279 123103
TOTAL 848,926 484,026 1,332,952

1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017

1,182,954

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

REGION ADULTS CHILDREN TOTAL
Scotland 97,910 47,955 145,865
Wales 60,387 34,803 95,190
Northern Ireland 19,063 13,717 32,780
North East 38,892 22,675 61,567
North West 107,825 66,664 174,489
Yorkshire & Humberside 44,738 24,542 69,280
West Midlands 70,078 41,308 111,386
East Midlands 34,734 20,838 55,572
East 71,050 43,829 114,879
London 70,422 40,679 111,101
South West 65,457 38,490 103,947
South East 65,460 41,438 106,898
TOTAL 746,016 436,938 1,182,954

1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016

1,109,309

1,109,309 three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis

  • Adults
  • Children

Regional breakdown for the financial year 2015/16

REGION ADULTS CHILDREN TOTAL
Scotland 89,764 43,962 133,726
Wales 54,389 31,267 85,656
Northern Ireland 14,600 11,155 25,755
North East 46,383 29,953 76,336
North West 98,298 61,750 160,048
Yorkshire & Humberside 41,149 23,910 65,059
West Midlands 64,111 39,612 103,723
East Midlands 30,442 18,525 48,967
East 63,684 39,189 102,873
London 67,861 42,503 110,364
South West 63,186 36,400 99,586
South East 59,576 37,640 97,216
TOTAL 693,443 415,866 1,109,309

1 April 2014 – 31 March 2015

1,084,604

1,084,604 three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis

  • Adults
  • Children

Regional breakdown for the financial year 2014/15

REGION ADULTS CHILDREN TOTAL
Scotland 81,575 36,114 117,689
Wales 55,739 30,136 85,875
Northern Ireland 9,854 7,571 17,425
North East 52,447 35,246 87,693
North West 97,850 59,398 157,248
Yorkshire & Humberside 38,989 21,197 60,186
West Midlands 64,433 39,867 104,300
East Midlands 27,126 16,055 43,181
East 64,972 35,936 100,908
London 64,756 40,043 104,799
South West 67,858 38,434 106,292
South East 62,008 37,000 99,008
TOTAL 687,607 396,997 1,084,604

1 April 2013 – 31 March 2014

913,138

913,138 three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis

  • Adults
  • Children

Regional breakdown for the financial year 2013/14

REGION ADULTS CHILDREN TOTAL
Scotland 49,041 22,387 71,428
Wales 51,148 27,901 79,049
Northern Ireland 6473 5224 11,697
North East 36,273 22,873 59,146
North West 87,561 51,083 138,644
Yorkshire & Humberside 25,167 12,236 37,403
West Midlands 58,036 35,425 93,461
East Midlands 24,039 13,717 37,756
East 59,827 31,593 91,420
London 58,315 37,324 95,639
South West 68,958 36,563 105,521
South East 58,095 33,879 91,974
TOTAL 582,933 330,205 913,138

What do these stats show?

Our statistics are a measure of volume rather than unique users, and on average people needed around two food bank referrals in the last year. The data is collected using an online system into which food banks enter data from each food bank voucher, and the number of three-day emergency food supplies is recorded.

For example, if a family of three was referred to a food bank 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 food bank once, this would count as three supplies.

Trussell Trust figures cannot be used to fully explain the scale of food bank use across the UK, because our figures relate to food banks in our network and not to the hundreds of independent food aid providers. There are more than 1,200 food bank centres in our network 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.