End of Year Stats
For the first time outside of the first year of the pandemic, food banks in the Trussell Trust network have distributed over 2.1 million food parcels in 2021-22.
The Trussell Trust calls for governments at all levels across the UK to use their powers and take urgent action now to strengthen our social security system, so it keeps up with the true cost of living. For the UK government, that means as a first step increasing benefits payments by at least 7%, so more people are able to afford the essentials we all need in life to get by.
The number of emergency food parcels given to people in crisis by food banks in the Trussell Trust network in the financial year 2021/22.
Between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022, food banks in the Trussell Trust’s UK wide network distributed over 2.1 million emergency food parcels to people in crisis. This is an increase of 14% compared to the same period in 2019/20. 832,000 of these parcels went to children.
COMPARED TO THIS TIME FIVE YEARS AGO, NEED FOR FOOD BANKS IN OUR NETWORK HAS INCREASED BY 81%.
“People are telling us they’re skipping meals so they can feed their children. That they are turning off essential appliances so they can afford internet access for their kids to do their homework.
“How can this be right in a society like ours? And yet food banks in our network tell us this is only set to get worse as their communities are pushed deeper into financial hardship. No one’s income should fall so dangerously low that they cannot afford to stay fed, warm and dry.
“There is still time for the UK government to do the right thing. We are calling on the UK government to bring benefits in line with the true cost of living. As an urgent first step benefits should be increased by at least 7%, keeping pace with increases in the cost of living. In the longer term, we need the government to introduce a commitment in the benefits system to ensure that everyone has enough money in their pockets to be prevented from falling into destitution.”
“By failing to make benefits payments realistic for the times we face, the government now risks turning the cost of living crisis into a national emergency.”
Hunger in the UK isn’t about food. It’s about a lack of income. We know the main drivers of food bank use in our network are:
- Problems with the benefits system (delays, inadequacy and reductions)
- Challenging life experiences or ill-health
- Lack of informal or formal support
The statistics above each represent an occasion when someone has needed to turn to food banks because they can’t afford the essentials that we all need. To find out more about the experiences of people supported by food banks in our network please read our stories report.
Food bank Statistics for previous Financial Years with Regional Breakdown
|East of England||100,080||101,005||113,804||127,027||152,679||190,141||245,313||223,962|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||58,939||66,303||70,305||79,502||90,245||108,403||138,355||156,120|
|East of England||64,134||62,512||70,265||78,717||93,670||113,854||142,966||131,838|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||38,207||41,918||45,339||51,206||57,510||67,400||85,007||95,280|
|East of England||35,946||38,493||43,539||48,310||59,009||76,287||102,347||92,124|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||20,732||24,385||24,966||28,296||32,735||41,003||53,348||60,840|
What do these stats show?
Our statistics are a measure of volume rather than unique users, the available data indicates that people received around 2.4 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 emergency food supplies is recorded.
For example, if a family of three were referred to a food bank twice in one year, this would count as six supplies on the system because it would reflect six instances of a supply going 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 and community-groups also providing support. There are more than 1,400 food bank centres in the Trussell Trust’s UK wide network. The Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) represents more than 500 independent food banks operating across the UK. IFAN has identified at least 1,172 independent food banks across the UK in addition to food banks in the Trussell Trust network, Salvation Army, and school-based food banks. There are also thousands of other food aid providers including soup kitchens and social supermarkets.
Read our full data briefing here. You can access breakdowns of the data to local authority level here.