Imagine trying to get through everyday life without knowing when your next meal will come. Short-term hunger can cause headaches, dizziness, irritability, nausea and inability to concentrate, and the long-term effects can go even deeper.
Studies show that homes that don’t have access to enough affordable, nutritious food also report multiple chronic medical conditions, major depression, and long-term mental and physical disabilities. These health issues can be made worse by hunger and also make it harder to earn money and provide food.
Figures from The Trussell Trust, a nationwide network of foodbanks, show that 1,583,668 three-day emergency food supplies were given to people in crisis in 2018/19, a 19 per cent increase on the previous year. The Trust cites low income, delays to benefit payments and changes to benefits as the three major causes of reliance on foodbanks.
Single-parent families with children are more vulnerable to needing a foodbank than any other kind of household.
Low income accounts for over 33% of referrals to The Trussell Trust foodbanks, showing that, for many people, wages remain too low to put food on the table.
53,883 frontline professionals such as doctors and social workers give foodbank vouchers to people in crisis.
2.5 million children in the UK are reported to be living in households affected by food insecurity.
People who access foodbanks come from all walks of life. Some people need support over longer periods, but most require help only occasionally or for a short period of time. A food package may make the difference for a family trying to get back on their feet after a crisis. It can mean that a child doesn’t go to bed hungry, or doesn’t get ill and miss school due to an immune system compromised by a lack of adequate nutrition.
Foodbanks provide more than food and everyday items such as toiletries. Many offer holiday clubs to support families outside of term time and courses to teach budget management, cookery and nutrition.
Make a difference to families in your local community with WE Scare Hunger.