Rise in foodbanks a result of Government’s callous agenda of austerity

Reliance on foodbanks in Haringey has risen over the last year, analysis of data obtained from the Trussell Trust shows. The number of three-day emergency food parcels distributed in Haringey rose by 124%. Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said dependence on foodbanks was the result of the Government’s “callous agenda of austerity” and its “sheer disregard” for vulnerable people in Haringey.

Data from the Trussell Trust shows that between April 2017 and March 2018, the charity distributed 4,408 three-day emergency food parcels in Haringey.

1,512 of these were provided specifically for children.

Across London, 134,244 parcels were given out over the same period, marking a 21% increase on the previous year. Last month, the Mayor launched his draft London Food Strategy and pledged to work closely with local authorities to prevent Londoners from being swept into food poverty.

The Trussell Trust have cited the top four drivers behind foodbank usage as ‘low income- benefits, not earning’, ‘benefit delay’, ‘benefit change’ and ‘debt’. Other reasons include homelessness, ill-health and domestic abuse.

A Trussell Trust report has identified the roll out of Universal Credit as a key factor in the increased reliance on foodbanks, honing in on the experience of claimants who have been left to struggle when waiting several weeks for their first payment. This analysis was backed up by a new Joseph Rowntree Foundation report which cited the roll out as a significant contributor to destitution.

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM said:

“We live in one of the world’s wealthiest countries with a welfare state that is supposed to protect people from destitution. It is shameful that an increasing number of people are forced to rely on foodbanks.

“This rise in foodbank use is a direct result of the Government’s callous agenda of austerity and its sheer disregard for vulnerable people in Haringey.

“Worryingly, growing inequality and poverty is seeing independent foodbanks popping up across the capital to meet increasing demand.

“The Government should waste no time in doing all that it can to reverse this crisis blighting local families.”