Action call over Hartlepool food bank figures

Hundreds of emergency food parcels were handed out to children in Hartlepool every week during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 2:58 pm
Food bank action call

The Trussell Tust food bank charity says it handed out 4,091 emergency food parcels in 2020/21 – with 1,218 of them going to children.

That’s the equivalent to 23 every week and the charity says, nationally, it distributed a record 2.5 million parcels – a 33% increase on the previous year and warned that the figures don’t include people who were helped by independent aid providers and community groups.

The charity is calling on the Government to end the need for food banks “once and for all” amid soaring demand for help from families in crisis.

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Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “No one should face the indignity of needing emergency food, yet our network of food banks has given out record numbers of food parcels as more and more people struggle without enough money for the essentials. This is not right.”

The charity is urging people to write to local election candidates on May 6, asking them to commit to working to end the need for food banks if elected.

It is also calling on the Government to develop a plan to end the need for their use.

A government spokesman said: “We are committed to supporting the lowest-paid families and have targeted support to those most in need by raising the living wage, spending hundreds of billions to safeguard jobs, boosting welfare support by billions, and introducing the £269m Covid Local Support Grant to help children and families stay well-fed.”