New findings show that more people are reportedly relying on food banks in the Britain than ever before, as a high number of families, including pensioners, NHS employees, and teachers are seeking assistance amid the cost-of-living crisis.
According to new information shared with the Observer by the Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan), nearly 90% of the polled food banks showed growing demands in December 2022 and January 2023 compared to the previous year. Half of the 85 organizations administering nearly 154 food banks and who replied responded that if demand continued to rise, they would have to curtail support or turn away people.
In fact, the U.K.'s largest provider of food banks, The Trussell Trust, which operates over 1,300 banks, anticipates that this winter is going to be its busiest ever after starting in November that food banks were near the bare minimum. Between April and September alone, it provided 1.3 million essential meals, a third more often than over the same time period in 2021 and significantly over 50% more than before the pandemic.
According to data issued by the Office for National Statistics, the cost of living crisis is still roaring, even if inflationary pressures have subsided. Gas prices have grown by over 130% over the past year, while food prices have increased by 16.7%.
Apparently, the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasted in November that the average disposable income of households will fall by 4.3% in 2022–2023, the worst drop since comparable data first started in 1956.
Real earnings reduction and soaring inflation have led to the longest public sector strikes in decades. On Monday, the polling period for more than 45,000 junior doctors will come to a close. The results will most likely be released later that day.
According to Ifan research, food banks are struggling to meet the huge demand from working people, particularly teachers and NHS personnel. About 80% stated that they had served a significant number of people for the first time, and many remarked that the need was growing among the elderly and families with young children.
Source credit: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/feb/19/record-number-of-uk-households-depending-on-food-banks