31,000 food bank parcels delivered in Birmingham between April & September, Trussell Trust figures show

Figures for food bank use in Birmingham are the highest in five years, according to teh Trussell Trust
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New figures released today (10 November) by the Trussell Trust reveal that 31,016 emergency food parcels were provided to people in Birmingham between April and September this year by food banks in the charity’s UK network.

This was the highest amount provided to Birmingham residents in the last five years, and the figures show that 20,422 of these were provided for adults in the city, with 10,594 provided for children.

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The amount of parcels delivered to Birmingham residents has risen every year since 2017 apart from in 2021. In 2017, the figures show that 12,799 parcels were delivered to people in Birmingham, in 2018, there was 16,226 parcels delivered to those in the city, followed by 17,927 in 2019, then 23,424 in 2020 and 22,073 in 2021.

The Trussell Trust, which supports more than 1,300 food bank centres, says the cost of living emergency has created a ‘tsunami of need’, as people struggle to survive amidst the soaring costs of living.

Food bank clients waiting for their turn Food bank clients waiting for their turn
Food bank clients waiting for their turn

The figures come as the cost of living crisis is putting food banks in Birmingham under strain as more people are being forced to use their services.

Many people struggling to pay utility bills are being driven to use food banks,with the steep rises in gas and electricity bills affecting homes up and down the country.

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Increasing utility bills are forcing those who also work full-time to seek out food banks, said Imran Hameed, founder of Salma Food Bank in Smethwick. Families from across Birmingham and the West Midlands travel to Salma fo help, and he said there has been a 40% increase in food bank users in recent months.

What do the figures show nationally?

The figures reveal that 1.3m emergency food parcels were provided to people between April and September this year by food banks in the charity’s UK network and almost half a million of these went to children.

That’s a third more than were provided during the same period in 2021 and an increase of more than 50% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

In the first half of this financial year alone, the Trussell Trust’s food bank network provided more parcels than in a full 12-month period five years ago, when 1.2 million emergency food parcels were distributed.

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Over the last six months, 320,000 people have been forced to turn to a food bank in the Trussell Trust network for the first time which represents a 40% increase compared to 2021.

The charity warns that food banks are at ‘breaking point’, both physically and mentally, and are set to face the hardest winter yet as they expect to provide more than 7,000 emergency food parcels a day on average in the next six months.


What has the Government said about the figures?

A Government Spokesperson said: “We are directly supporting households in need following the aftershocks from the pandemic and Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine, including sending another Cost of Living Payment this month worth £324 to over 8 million people, part of a £1,200 package for those on the lowest incomes.

“Our extensive immediate support for families also includes our Energy Price Guarantee, saving around £700 for a typical household over winter, and our Household Support Fund, worth over £1 billion to help people with essential costs, combined with longer-term changes such as altering Universal Credit to help people keep £1,000 more of what they earn every year.”

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