A new report by one of the Green MEP Keith Taylor has revealed that South East England has seen a huge increases in food bank use, despite being the 2nd wealthiest part of the UK after London.
The report, by the Green Party’s Member of the European Parliament, reveals that food bank use in South East England is up over 60% this year and that thousands of families will face the prospect of relying on emergency food handouts this Christmas. A decade ago food banks were almost unheard of in South East England but there are now 59 across the region.
The report is published ahead of a debate on Food Banks in Parliament on Thursday. It shows that food banks are spreading out from the poorest parts of the country to areas previously though of as ‘well off’.
With spending pressures mounting at Christmas, and wages stagnating, more families than ever are expected to use food banks over the festive period.
The report, which shows an explosion in the number of Food Banks in the last few years, details the reasons people are forced to seek emergency food handouts. 33% of people needing handouts are facing benefits delays, while 19% cite benefits changes as their reason for visiting the food banks and 18.5% point to low incomes as their reason for needing help.
Keith Taylor, the Green Party MEP who authored the report, said “Food banks are a lifeline to those in need and, sadly, one of Britain’s booming industries. Across the South East demand for emergency food is soaring while people’s wages stagnate and the cost of living shoots up.
This report reveals a shameful side of the British economy that the government is trying to hide. In the sixth largest economy in the world no-one should be relying on emergency food handouts at Christmas, it’s a national disgrace.”
Keith Taylor went on to call on the Government to release a report on food banks that they’ve been accused of ‘suppressing’. Continue reading