Six fold increase in people using foodbanks in Yorkshire over past two years

Food queues outside Ebenezer Church, Halifax.
Food queues outside Ebenezer Church, Halifax.

More than 60,000 people in Yorkshire have used foodbanks in the past year - a third of them children or teenagers.

This is up from 37,403 the previous year and around six times higher than the numbers two years ago.

New figures published today show the number using foodbanks nationally has reached a record one million after an increase in workers on low pay seeking help for food.

The Trussell Trust charity said that in Yorkshire 60,186 people had received three days’ emergency food from its centres in 2014/15. This is the equivalent to the entire population of Dewsbury.

Last year the charity said 37,403 people - 12,236 of whom were under 18 - sought provisions from its 23 food banks in the Yorkshire in 2013/14 . And this was up from 10,031 in the same period in 2012/2013.

The scale of the problem is likely to be worse than today’s figures show as they do not include foodbanks run by small charities and religious groups.

The trust warned that almost 400,000 children were among those receiving at least three days’ of supplies from the charity’s 445 foodbanks across the UK in the past year.

The Trussell Trust, which launched its first foodbank in Salisbury in 2000, said 1,084,604 people received supplies in the last financial year, an increase of 19 per cent over the previous 12 months.

Problems with benefits were the main reason people visited foodbanks, but the Trust said there had been an increase in those on low incomes.

Foodbank managers reported dealing with people struggling with insecure work, low pay and high living costs.

The charity’s UK foodbank director Adrian Curtis said: “Despite welcome signs of economic recovery, hunger continues to affect significant numbers of men, women and children in the UK today. It’s difficult to be sure of the full extent of the problem as Trussell Trust figures don’t include people who are helped by other food charities or those who feel too ashamed to seek help.”