'Record number' of food parcels to be delivered this winter

Volunteers at a foodbank in Perth and Kinross said demand for parcels has increased five-fold in less than a decade.

A record number of food parcels is expected to be delivered this winter across the UK, a leading charity has said.

The Trussell Trust predicts more than a million foodbank parcels look set to be handed out with to meet a ‘shocking level of need’ in communities.

It would be a record high and equates to one delivery every eight seconds.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “We don’t want to spend every winter saying things at food banks are getting worse, but they are.

“Food banks are not the answer in the long term, but while we continue to fight for the change that could mean they can be closed for good your local food bank urgently needs your support.

“They need donations of food for emergency parcels, and money to fund costs such as the purchasing of food to meet the shortfall in donations they are currently experiencing.

“One in seven people in the UK face hunger because they don’t have enough money to live on. That’s not the kind of society we want to live in, and we won’t stand by and let this continue.”

At Perth and Kinross Foodbank, demand has increased five-fold in less than a decade.

Volunteers are also battling a rise in costs as the number of donations falls.

“In 2019, we bought 1%. Last year we were sitting at 16%,” said the centre’s project manager Lori Hughes.

“This year its 14% so far and the busiest months are ahead.

“We’re having to spend more money in order to ensure we have the core supplies that people need so they can eat during the course of the winter months.”

The Trussell Trust is calling for action from both Scottish and UK Governments.

It wants to see more financial support provided to society’s most vulnerable.

A UK Government spokesperson said: “The Government’s priorities are clear – the best way to help people in Scotland and across the UK with the cost of living is by driving down inflation and growing our economy.

“There are nearly two million fewer people in absolute poverty than in 2010, but we know some families are struggling, which is why we are providing an average of £3,300 per household, raising benefits by over 10% this year and lifting the living wage by record levels.”

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