More emergency food parcels were given out during the April to September 2022 period than ever before for this time of year. Over the last six months, more than 320,000 people have been forced to turn to food banks in the Trussell Trust network for the first time.
The number of emergency food parcels given to people facing hardship by food banks in the Trussell Trust network between 1 April 2022 and 30 September 2022.
Between 1 April 2022 and 30 September 2022, food banks in the Trussell Trust’s UK-wide network distributed 1.3 million food parcels to people facing hardship – this is an increase of 52% compared to the same period in 2019. Half a million of these parcels were distributed to children.
One in five people referred to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network are in households where someone is working.
For the first time, need for emergency food is outstripping donations as the cost of living emergency is leading to a drastic increase in the number of people turning to food banks for support.
Number of emergency food parcels distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust network
“These new statistics show that, even in summer months, people are struggling to afford the essentials and we are expecting that this winter will be the hardest yet for food banks and the people they support. This is not right.
“We know that with the right support and a stable and sufficient income, people don’t need to turn to food banks for support. Over the last few years, the government has acted to protect people who are struggling, and this action has made a difference. They must now act again: with swift support now to help people through the winter, and with vision for the longer-term to ensure that social security is always enough to weather challenging times.
“We are calling for the Prime Minister to act decisively in next week’s budget. We urge the UK government to realise their commitment of supporting people on the lowest income with a broad package of support. As well as ensuring that benefits rise with inflation as soon as possible, this must go further to close the gap between price rises and incomes over the winter.”
Hunger in the UK isn’t about food. It’s about a lack of income, leaving people without enough money to afford the essentials. This could be due to:
- 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 1 April to 30 September 2022 – 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.