A report for the Trussell Trust shows that the two main drivers of food bank use are ill health and problems with the benefits system, it was revealed today. A key problem is being turned down for disability benefits.

Over the last five years, the number of emergency food parcels provided to people in crisis by food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network has increased by 73%.

The State of Hunger report, researched and written over the last year by staff at Heriot-Watt university, found that people referred to food banks:

  • are very likely to have health issues – with nearly 75% reporting at least one health issue,
  • have problems with the benefit system, with over two-thirds reporting issues with the system in the last year,
  • have an average weekly income after housing costs of just £50,
  • cannot afford to buy the absolute essentials that we all need to eat, stay warm and dry, and keep clean – with 94% facing real destitution

Key benefits problems were:

  • being turned down for disability benefits,
  • a reduction in the value of benefit payments,
  • being sanctioned,
  • delays in payments like the five week wait for Universal Credit.

The Trussell Trust are calling on people to join the campaign to end the five week wait for Universal Credit.


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