More than 5,100 emergency food parcels were provided on average to people across the UK every day, by food banks in the Trussell Trust network in the past six months. Almost 2,000 of these were provided for children.
The number of emergency food parcels given to people in crisis by food banks in the Trussell Trust network between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021. .
Between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021, food banks in the Trussell Trust’s UK wide network distributed 5,100 emergency food parcels a day to people in crisis. This is an increase of 11% compared to the same period in 2019.
Alarmingly, families with children have been hit the hardest, with food parcels for children increasing at double the rate for adults. Between 1 April to 30 September 2021, almost 2,000 parcels were provided for children every day, compared to almost 1,700 in 2019.
Number of emergency food parcels distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust network
“Everyone in the UK should be able to afford the essentials – to buy their own food and heat their homes. Yet food banks in our network continue to see more and more people facing destitution with an increase in food parcels going to children. This is not right.
“Our food bank managers expect need to grow further still, saying they will need to provide more than 7,000 food parcels a day during December, as many families are faced with an even tougher winter ahead. This must stop.
“The answer must be for us to have the stability of a strong enough social security system to protect any one of us when we need it. We need government at all levels to take action and are asking the public to help fight hunger this winter and join the campaign to fight for a future without the need for food banks.”
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 deductions)
- Challenging life experiences or ill-health
- Lack of informal or formal support
What do these stats show?
Every year we release statistics about the number of emergency food parcels food banks in our network have provided to people. We release figures for the first six months of the financial year in November, and for the full financial year at the end of April. These figures cover 1st April – 30th September 2021 – for our latest annual figures visit our End of Year Stats page.
Our statistics are a measure of volume rather than unique users, the available data indicates that most people are referred to a food bank in the Trussell Trust network once a 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.
Figures from the Trussell Trust 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 emergency food, which have increased in number through the pandemic. There are more than 1,300 food bank centres in the Trussell Trust’s UK wide network. The Independent Food Aid Network has identified at least 1,124 independent food banks, while there are also Salvation Army food banks as well as food banks run from schools and hospitals. There are also thousands of other food aid providers including soup kitchens and social supermarkets.