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
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.
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.”
Primary Reasons for Referral to Trussell Trust food banks in 2018-19
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.
Food bank Statistics for previous Financial Years with Regional Breakdown
1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019
1,583,668 three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis
Regional breakdown for the financial year 2018/19
|Yorkshire & Humberside||57,252||32,589||89,841|
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|
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.