YEP Says: Rise in foodbanks should be a real cause of concern

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IT is worrying that foodbanks - something we tensd to associate with the grinding poverty of the 1920s and 1930s - seem to have become a way of life for some people.

Such charitable services shouldn’t need to exist at all in a modern society when we have a welfare system to cater for those who are down on their luck.

If foodbanks should exist at all, they should surely only be a safety net to catch people who for whatever reason have problems with benefits or wages.

But it seems that 69,200 people were given three-day food supplies by the Trussell Trust foodbanks over the past year. These included 24,500 to children.

Nationally in 2016-17, Trussell Trust foodbanks distributed 1,182,954 three-day supplies to people in crisis compared to 1,109,309 during the same period last year. Of these 436,938 of these went to children.

Foodbanks in areas of full Universal Credit rollout to single people, couples and families, have seen a 16.85 per cent average increase in referrals for emergency food, more than double the national average of 6.64 per cent.

Benefit delays and changes to benefits are the biggest cause of referral in Yorkshire and Humber. If people are entitled to benefits, they should be paid promptly. It should not be left to a foodbank to pick up the pieces when people are left hungry.