"Councils are continuing to see a concerning increase in the number of people turning to food banks to feed their family and make ends meet, due to the cost of living crisis and rising food prices."
Responding to a study by Which? on places where people are most likely to struggle to access affordable food during the rising cost of living, Cllr Andrew Western, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, said:
“Councils are continuing to see a concerning increase in the number of people turning to food banks to feed their family and make ends meet, due to the cost of living crisis and rising food prices.
“These emergency schemes should not become the norm and are not a sustainable solution to helping people who are unable to access or buy healthy and nutritious food.
“Instead, the mainstream welfare system should ensure people have enough to meet true living costs, including being able to travel to or pay for deliveries from better-value supermarkets.
“Benefits should also be fair and sufficient to support households’ access to supermarket food. This should sit alongside services to help increase opportunity, promote financial wellbeing and lift people out of poverty for good.
“Long-term, sustainable local welfare funding would allow councils to support access to affordable, nutritious and, where possible, environmentally-friendly food. Government could also consider offering financial support for cross-sector food partnerships in England, as is the case in Wales.”
Notes to editors
Councils continue to provide discretionary welfare support via the Household Support Fund, to target resources at those most in need.