Britain's biggest food bank provider has seen a surge in donations after a Mail on Sunday article criticised the charity for failing to run proper checks on people claiming food parcels.{jcomments on}

Before the article, there had been about 250 public donations since the Trussell Trust launched its JustGiving page in late January. That jumped to more than 3,300, worth more than £36,000. Several donors cited the article as the reason for contributing.

"The Mail on Sunday story appalled me. This is the least I can do to apologise for their crime," said Anonymous after donating £10.

Another, Spitting Feathers, said: "I am incensed by the disgraceful article. Call this journalism? I don't. I'm not a Christian and admire the work being done by human beings for their fellow human beings. Thank you."

The Mail on Sunday said it carried out an investigation which found that volunteers did not carry out adequate checks on those who claim vouchers and one of its reporters obtained three days' food simply by telling staff at a Citizens Advice bureau – without any proof – that he was unemployed. Many claiming food parcels were also asylum seekers, the paper reported.

The newspaper also cast doubt on the trust's widely reported claims that almost 1 million people would use one of its food banks this year, up 163% on the previous year and part of a trend that has seen use of the trust's food banks increase tenfold since 2010.

Officials at the Department for Work and Pensions accused the trust of "misleading and emotionally manipulative publicity-seeking" and "aggressively marketing their services". But David Cameron has praised the provision of food banks, indicating the government's ambivalent attitude towards them.

Read the full story in the Guardian


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