Rising living costs have contributed to thousands going hungry in Leeds, sometimes for days at a time, a major new study into foodbank use has revealed for the first time.
Foodbanks in Leeds gave out more emergency food bundles than anywhere in Yorkshire last year, with the highest numbers in Leeds North and West (8,054) and Leeds (South East), including to more than 6,000 children.
Now new research has shown that half of people using foodbanks said their incomes were “unsteady”, with four out of five people admitting they skipped meals .
David McAuley, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “Every day volunteers are meeting people trying to cope with low, insecure incomes and rising prices that mean even the smallest unexpected expense can leave them destitute and hungry, be that an unexpected bill, bereavement or the loss of income caused by benefit delay. Particularly concerning are the very high numbers of disabled people or people with mental health problems needing foodbanks. These findings reaffirm how vital the work of foodbanks and generosity of donors is, but are also a clear challenge to the new Government to do more to stop people ending up in crisis in the first place.”
A Government spokesman said it wants to go further to help families: “We’re helping millions of households meet the everyday cost of living and keep more of what they earn while also spending over £90 billion a year in extra support for those who need it. Employment is the best route out of poverty and, with record numbers of people now in work, we’ve made great progress.”