Cost of living: Food banks hand out more than 10,000 emergency parcels to hungry children in Birmingham
The Trussell Trust distributed a record 480,000 food parcels for children across the UK in the six months to September, including 10,594 in Birmingham
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But this represents just a fraction of the 76,183 children living in poverty in the area, suggesting many more may be going without.
The Trussell Trust distributed a record 480,000 food parcels for children across the UK in the six months to September, including 10,594 in Birmingham.
This compares with 4318 children’s parcels given out in the area in the same period five years before.
Compared to the overall population, children are more likely to be in low income households, government figures show.
In Birmingham, 76,183 under-16s were living in absolute poverty last year, some 29.6% of the population of that age.
Absolute poverty means a family income is below the level needed to maintain basic living standards in terms of food, shelter and housing.
In the UK, it measures disposable income after taxes and includes money received through benefits.
People are below this poverty line if their income falls below 60% of the median UK income as it stood in 2011, adjusted for inflation.
How the government is taking action
In the recent autumn statement, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt agreed to increase benefits in line with rocketing inflation.
A spokesperson for the UK government said it had also put in place other measures to support “households in need following the aftershocks from the pandemic and Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine”.
This included sending another Cost of Living Payment in November worth £324 to more than eight million households, part of a £1,200 package for those on the lowest incomes.
Further payments worth up to £900 will be given to eligible households in the 2023/24 financial year.
What Trussell Trust said
Emma Revie, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Children shouldn’t have to worry about the cost of living crisis, yet in the past six months, food banks in the Trussell Trust network provided more than 483,000 emergency food parcels for children across the UK.
“People are coming to food banks telling us they are unable to turn the heating on and are skipping meals so they can feed their children.
“Food banks in our network are set to face their hardest winter yet as the cost of living emergency is driving a tsunami of need. This is not right.
“Food banks are not inevitable, and as a charity we campaign and push for the changes needed to ensure a future where they are not needed.
“But right now, we need the help of the UK public so that we can make sure that every child, every family, every person experiencing hunger is supported.”
Trussell Trust winter appeal
With one in five people visiting a food bank coming from a working household, hunger is an issue that can touch all of us. There is no doubt we are all feeling the pinch, but we are hoping that during the coming weeks you can spare whatever you can to The Trussell Trust winter appeal.
Across our family of newspapers, we aim to raise as much money as we can to support this vital charity this winter. The money raised will go directly to food banks to ensure that anyone who needs a helping hand this winter gets it. Your money will be the difference between a family in your community eating, or a family in your community going hungry. That is how important this appeal is.