End of Year Stats

Record 1.9m food bank parcels given to people in the past year as the Trussell Trust calls for governments at all levels to use their powers to make sure everyone can afford the essentials.

1.9 million

The number of three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis by Trussell Trust food banks in the financial year 2019-2020.

Between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020, the Trussell Trust’s food bank network distributed 1.9 million three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis, a 18% increase on the previous year. More than seven hundred thousand of these went to children.

In the last five years, food bank use in our network has increased by 74%

“This year has been an extraordinarily difficult one, with many more people across the country facing destitution as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Food banks carry on, working as tirelessly as ever, to support people in crisis through the unprecedented challenge the pandemic continues to pose. The statistics in our 2019/2020 report show the situation in food banks up until the end of March, before the true economic impact of the pandemic had hit. Despite this, we see a rise in the number of people being forced to use a food bank yet again. This constant rise in food bank use, year after year, cannot continue. More and more people are struggling to eat because they simply cannot afford food – and when we look to the year ahead, it’s likely even more people will be forced into destitution. This is not right.”

“We know this situation can be turned around – 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 and while additional government measures have helped some people stay afloat this year, clearly more needs to be done. That’s why we united with partners from across the charity sector in urging the UK government to make sure everyone can afford the essentials through the economic downturn. And we want to see governments at all levels doing everything in their power to protect people from financial hardship.”

“We have outlined what needs to be done – 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-chief-executive-trussell-trust-8762-2

Emma Revie
Chief Executive

Primary Reasons for Referral to Trussell Trust food banks in 2019-20

The top three reasons for referral to a food bank in the Trussell Trust network in 2019-20 were low income’, benefit delays’ and benefit changes’.

Governments at all levels need to use their powers to support people

Our statistics for 2019/20 show that food banks were already experiencing record levels of need before the coronavirus pandemic struck. We have seen significant increases since the economic fallout of the crisis. This continued increase in food bank use cannot continue.

That’s why we are coming together with partners from across the charity sector to urge governments at all levels to use their powers to make sure that everyone can afford the essentials through the economic downturn and beyond.

We have previously outlined what governments need to do – it is within our power to make sure we protect one another during this crisis.

Food bank Statistics for previous Financial Years with Regional Breakdown

2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
UK 913,982 1,091,282 1,112,395 1,201,302 1,354,388 1,606,244 1,900,122
England 749,667 866,481 863,870 920,170 1,046,807 1,235,892 1,483,243
Scotland 72,487 119,212 135,943 150,095 173,526 217,006 237,225
Wales 79,996 87,935 86,314 97,144 100,362 116,087 134,646
Northern Ireland 11,832 17,654 26,268 33,893 33,693 37,259 45,008
North East 59,634 88,248 76,523 62,280 65,218 89,479 98,461
North West 138,005 158,079 160,803 175,645 198,830 225,188 252,165
Yorkshire & Humberside 36,867 58,939 66,303 70,307 79,502 90,245 108,102
West Midlands 94,024 104,374 103,702 111,760 121,039 142,900 168,886
East Midlands 40,380 45,484 49,366 56,791 67,078 78,229 101,534
East 88,703 102,319 103,668 116,356 130,493 157,243 196,511
London 99,925 108,373 112,124 113,701 137,923 169,734 204,299
South West 99,536 100,188 93,701 104,095 121,826 133,287 162,045
South East 92,593 100,477 97,680 109,235 124,898 149,587 191,240
2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
UK 583,387 691,638 695,580 757,881 862,583 1,020,733 1,179,618
England 475,263 541,806 534,574 575,703 660,833 778,924 913,433
Scotland 49,820 82,686 91,255 100,781 117,540 145,576 156,602
Wales 51,758 57,154 54,850 61,687 64,341 74,331 83,509
Northern Ireland 6,546 9,992 14,901 19,710 19,869 21,902 26,074
North East 36,622 52,815 46,537 39,364 41,400 56,202 61,999
North West 87,166 98,314 98,807 108,540 123,578 141,205 152,617
Yorkshire & Humberside 24,919 38,207 41,918 45,340 51,206 57,510 67,219
West Midlands 58,389 64,526 64,186 70,351 77,408 91,669 106,695
East Midlands 25,711 28,614 30,672 35,568 42,436 48,956 62,363
East 57,743 65,613 64,204 71,902 80,999 96,754 117,968
London 61,021 67,010 69,044 72,170 88,998 108,816 129,424
South West 65,252 63,863 59,343 65,586 76,831 83,782 99,712
South East 58,440 62,844 59,863 66,882 77,977 94,030 115,436
2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
UK 330,595 399,644 416,815 443,421 491,805 585,511 720,504
England 274,404 324,675 329,296 344,467 385,974 456,968 569,810
Scotland 22,667 36,526 44,688 49,314 55,986 71,430 80,623
Wales 28,238 30,781 31,464 35,457 36,021 41,756 51,137
Northern Ireland 5,286 7,662 11,367 14,183 13,824 15,357 18,934
North East 23,012 35,433 29,986 22,916 23,818 33,277 36,462
North West 50,839 59,765 61,996 67,105 75,252 83,983 99,548
Yorkshire & Humberside 11,948 20,732 24,385 24,967 28,296 32,735 40,883
West Midlands 35,635 39,848 39,516 41,409 43,631 51,231 62,191
East Midlands 14,669 16,870 18,694 21,223 24,642 29,273 39,171
East 30,960 36,706 39,464 44,454 49,494 60,489 78,543
London 38,904 41,363 43,080 41,531 48,925 60,918 74,875
South West 34,284 36,325 34,358 38,509 44,995 49,505 62,333
South East 34,153 37,633 37,817 42,353 46,921 55,557 75,804

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.