UK Food-Bank Dependency Reaches Record High

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, May 14, 2023 - 11:35 AM

Nearly 3 million emergency food parcels were given out in the Trussell Trust’s UK wide network between 2022 and 2023, according to their latest report.

As Statista's Anna Fleck shows in the following chart, the number of food parcels delivered per 100,000 people varies greatly across different regions across the UK.

Infographic: Food Bank Dependency in the UK | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

While London was the region with the highest absolute number of food parcels distributed (384,477) between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023, when looking at a breakdown of food parcels delivered per 100,000 people, Wales emerges as the region with the highest rates of dependency on food banks (5,963 people per 100,000). Other areas with notably high dependency are the North East with 5,833 parcels delivered per 100,000 population and the East of England with 5,122 per 100,000.

This map illustrates the scale and widespread nature of food insecurity in the UK, with food banks being relied on in all regions. The situation is likely considerably worse than these figures alone show, since this data does not take into account the many people who are food insecure and do not receive support from food banks, or the wide range of emergency food provisions that are relied on across the country from other sources.

While recent food price inflation surely played its part here, Emma Revie, chief executive at the Trust says the causes are more diverse and deep-rooted:

"These new statistics are extremely concerning and show that an increasing number of people are left with no option but to turn to charitable, volunteer-run organisations to get by and this is not right. The continued increase in parcel numbers over the last five years indicates that it is ongoing low levels of income and a social security system that isn’t fit for purpose that are forcing more people to access food banks, rather than just the recent cost of living crisis or the Covid-19 pandemic."

The need for foodbanks is an unfortunate symptom of the current economic situation in the UK.

Over the past few years, Statista's Martin Armstrong shows in the chart below that the number of people in the UK in need of three-day emergency food supplies has steadily increased - from 1.35 million given out by Trussell Trust in 2017/18 to a record 2.99 million in 2022/23.

Infographic: UK Foodbank Use Reaches Record High | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

This increase equates to a 121 percent increase over the period.