Food banks seeing huge demand and at ‘breaking point’ due to rising living costs

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ood banks have warned they are at breakign point and are seeing rising levels of demenad due to the cost of living crisis.

The Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) said many food banks are struggling to meet the high demand as inflation continues to take a toll on the poorest families.

The Micah Liverpool food bank told the Independent that demand has increased from around 220 parcels a week last year to more than 400 parcels a week during May

“We can barely cope at the moment,” said executive director Paul O’Brien. “The demand is like we’ve never seen it before, and we’re expecting it to get worse when families are pushed into trouble over the school holidays.”

He said the situation was so dire that the charity could be forced to put a cap on the number of people who can be offered help.

“We don’t want to turn people away, but this kind of demand is just not sustainable. I fear a lot of food banks will be pushed to breaking point, ”he said.

The public is facing the biggest drop in living standards since records began in 1956 amid the cost of living crisis, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Meanwhile, food prices are rising by seven per cent a year in the UK – the highest rate for 30 years – and household energy bills have soared to a record-high.

However, ministers have rejected calls to extend free school meal eligibility and payments available during the holidays.

Alexandra McMillan, who runs the Legendary Community Club food bank in Lewisham, said government support is “nowhere near enough”.

She added that it is “extremely unfair to expect food banks to pick up the pieces”.

Last month IFAN called on the Prime Minister and Chancellor to act urgently to combat “rapidly rising levels of poverty, destitution and hunger”.

“We are deeply concerned about the scale of suffering that we are already witnessing as well as our ability to prevent people from going hungry in the weeks and months to come.

“An emergency supply of food cannot resolve someone’s financial crisis and will only act as a temporary sticking plaster.

“Measures must be urgently introduced to decisively increase people’s incomes through the social security system, emergency cash first support and wage increases combined with job security.”

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