End of Year Stats

“Benefit levels must keep pace with rising cost of essentials” urges The Trussell Trust after record increase in foodbank figures.

1,332,952

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%.

Read the press release

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.”

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

Emma Revie
Chief Executive

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.

Learn more

Foodbank Statistics for previous Financial Years with Regional Breakdown

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

1 April 2012 – 31 March 2013

346,992

346,992 three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis

  • Adults
  • Children

Regional breakdown for the financial year 2012/13

REGION ADULTS CHILDREN TOTAL
Scotland 9760 4572 14,332
Wales 23,294 12,625 35,919
Northern Ireland 1102 885 1987
North East 7058 3452 10,510
North West 25,672 15,341 41,013
Yorkshire & Humberside 7004 3376 10,380
West Midlands 24,997 16,399 41,396
East Midlands 6692 4050 10,742
East 23,137 11,029 34,166
London 24,415 17,649 42,064
South West 38,871 20,661 59,532
South East 28,101 16,850 44,951
TOTAL 220,103 126,889 346,992

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.

Other Stats

428

foodbanks operate within the Trussell Trust Network

12,955

tonnes of food donated by the public in 2017/2018 to Trussell Trust foodbanks

53,883

frontline professionals such as doctors and social workers give foodbank vouchers to people in crisis

40,000

people volunteered with a Trussell Trust foodbank in 2017/2018