Local MPs have backed the Yorkshire Evening Post’s ‘Feed A Family’ campaign and called upon the Government to look at what is a growing crisis.
Two of the foodbanks that we visited as part of our campaign to help hungry children and families are situated in the constituencies of Rachel Reeves, who represents Leeds West, and Hilary Benn for Leeds Central.
Ms Reeves said she knew of people in her constituency who had used food banks on one or more occasions and that increasing food prices and lower wages were a factor.
She added: “I’m pleased that the Yorkshire Evening Post has highlighted the vital role that food banks play in our city at what is one of the busiest times of the year for them. But it’s extremely sad that they have become such a lifeline to so many people who are forced to rely on them. It is a terrible reflection on this government and Theresa May’s austerity policies that they have become part of everyday life for thousands of families. It is totally unacceptable in 2017 in our country that anyone is forced to go short of food. Sadly, food banks are becoming part of their weekly routine and that has to change.”
It is thought that more than 4,500 children across the city are in danger of going hungry over the school holidays as parents, who rely on free school meals, can’t afford to feed them.
Mr Benn said that the government needs to be addressing the causes and wider issued behind the foodbank crisis.
He said: “The growing demand shows just how many people in Leeds are desperate.
“Something is terribly wrong with a society in which people have no alternative but to ask someone they’ve never met for help to feed their family. It’s now time the Government acknowledged this crisis and started doing something about its causes.”