The Herald

Inflation adds to worries for food banks


INDEPENDEN­T food banks are “desperatel­y worried” about how they will continue to operate amid soaring demand and “alarming” inflation figures.

People unable to afford essentials are increasing­ly asking for food they do not need to cook or refrigerat­e because of rising energy prices, the Independen­t Food Aid Network (IFAN) said.

This includes a growing cohort of first-time food bank users, people who are struggling while in work, and an increasing number of children.

A survey of more than 100 members found the vast majority have experience­d a rise in demand since the start of the year, while also struggling with food supply issues.

IFAN, which represents more than 550 food aid providers across the

UK, said the situation

“is becoming more alarming by the day” and members are “running out of options”.

Sabine Goodwin, the organisati­on’s coordinato­r, said: “Today’s alarming inflation figures will inevitably mean the numbers of people seeking the support of food banks will rise yet further.

“Independen­t food banks are already struggling to cope and are desperatel­y worried about how they can possibly continue to operate as poverty levels spiral out of control.”

She said the Government must immediatel­y boost the incomes of people who cannot afford food and other essentials, and increase benefits so they are in line with inflation.

Some 101 IFAN members running 194 food banks across 94 local authority areas took part in the survey from May 4 to May 9.

It found 93 per cent reported an increase or significan­t rise in demand this year, while 80% have struggled with food supply issues.

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