Trussell Trust reveals record surge in demand amid pandemic

The Trussell Trust has become the latest anti-poverty charity to reveal the extent of the surge in demand for support among beneficiaries amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Trust has revealed that its UK network gave more than 2.5m emergency food parcels to disadvantaged people between April 2020 and March 2021.

Its food banks saw a 33% increase in demand over the period, with a 36% rise in parcels given for children, compared to 2019/20.

The charity is warning that this surge in demand is the “tip of the iceberg” given the numbers of people being supported by other food aid providers and charities.

“No one should face the indignity of needing emergency food. Yet our network of food banks has given out record numbers of food parcels as more and more people struggle without enough money for the essentials,” said Trussell Trust chief executive Emma Revie.

“This is not right but we know we can build a better future. This pandemic has shown the unexpected can hit suddenly, but we know when we push for change, united by our desire for justice and compassion, the government has to listen and act.”

The Trust is asking its supporters to write to candidates standing in May’s local elections to commit to work to end the need for food banks if elected.

The latest figures from the Trussell Trust come as it emerged this month that homelessness charity Centrepoint revealed a 33% increase in demand from young people for its helpline services. This included those sleeping rough and in need of mental health support.

In February, a survey of more than 1,700 youth organisations and charities recorded increases in demand with the majority seeing their income dip.

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