Hundreds of emergency food parcels handed out to struggling Wigan people
More than 1,500 emergency food parcels were handed out to people in Wigan over six months, new figures from the Trussell Trust show.
The charity said it is not right that so many people across the UK are facing destitution and warned the need for food banks will rise over the winter.
In Wigan, 1,785 emergency food parcels – containing three or seven days’ worth of supplies – were handed out by the Trussell Trust between April and September.
However, this was eight per cent fewer than during the same period in 2020, and below the 2,837 given out in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic.
They were among 935,749 parcels handed out by the charity across the UK over the six-month period, including 108,778 in the North West.
Though below the record 1.3 million dispensed during this period last year, it was 11 per cent more than in 2019.
This means around 5,100 emergency food parcels were provided for people across the UK every day, including almost 2,000 for children.
The Trussell Trust said it expects this to rise to more than 7,000 a day in December, as poorer families struggle with rising fuel costs, inflation and the recent removal of the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift.
The figures do not include the number of people helped by thousands of other groups providing food aid such as community organisations and independent food banks.
Emma Revie, Trussell Trust chief executive, said: “Everyone in the UK should be able to afford the essentials – to buy their own food and heat their homes.
“Yet food banks in our network continue to see more and more people facing destitution with an increase in food parcels going to children. This is not right.”
She added: “The answer must be for us to have the stability of a strong enough social security system to protect any one of us when we need it.”
More than 350,000 parcels went to children between April and September this year – 15 per cent more than in 2019.
In Wigan, 640 were handed to youngsters, compared to 713 last year.
Jonathan Reynolds, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, said: “Thousands of food parcels given out every day to kids is frankly a disgrace – Britain deserves better than this.
“Conservative complacency and chaos has created a cost of living crisis with tax hikes, cuts to Universal Credit and soaring bills hammering families this winter.”
The Government said Universal Credit claimants will benefit from a newly reduced taper rate and increased work allowance, while a Household Support Fund will help vulnerable families in England afford essentials over the coming months.
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