This article was published in the blog of The Baring Foundation.
Contributors: Kath Dalmeny (Sustain), Koldo Casla (Just Fair), Elli Kontorravdis (Nourish Scotland), Peter Roderick (Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University).
In 2016, Trussell Trust, the largest UK food bank network, provided 1.2 million packages of emergency food supplies. For comparison, in 2009 they supplied 41,000 packages. This is a symptom of, for example, increasing food and house prices, insecure incomes, rising debt, benefit sanctions, and financial problems for households dealing with disability and mental health. But this is a symptom of something else: That the human right to food is far from a reality for too many people in our country.
Half of the emergency packages went to households looking after a disabled person, three-quarters to people experiencing ill-health and associated financial insecurity, a third to households experiencing problems repaying debt, and a quarter to households reporting that rising costs – such as housing – meant they had simply run out of money to buy food. The majority had been referred to the foodbank by a professional body that had identified them as being in crisis – such as a GP, social security office or Citizens’ Advice Bureau. Continue reading “Beyond hunger and the food bank: a new right to food”