Record numbers of people cannot afford food

Record number of food parcels given out by food banks. Our tips will help you know what to do if you don’t have food.

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Most people have needed to use a food bank in the past year because their income is not enough to cover essential expenses.

Personal crises such as health problems, benefits issues, and homelessness also lead people to food banks.

In 2023/24, food banks in the Trussell Trust network distributed 3.12 million emergency food parcels, the highest number ever, up 4% on the previous year.

The rising cost of living and low incomes are making it difficult for many people to afford food.

Last year, more than 655,000 people used a food bank for the first time.

Of these parcels, more than 1.14 million were for children and nearly two million were for adults.

Here we are, in modern Britain.

We should not rely on food banks in the UK.

Everyone should have enough to survive.

But, here we are.

Changing it isn’t overnight, and if you find yourself without food, it can be a very stressful time.

There are several things you can do to get the help you need.

What to do if you don’t have food?

Visit a food bank.

Food banks provide emergency food parcels to those in need.

The Trussell Trust runs more than 1,300 food banks across the UK.

To get help, you will need a professional such as a doctor, social worker, or citizen’s counsel.

You can. Find your nearest food bank here.

Use free food apps and sites.

Many apps and websites help connect people with free or very cheap food.

Olio is a food sharing app with people in your local community, and Too Good To Go shares cheap food from shops, restaurants and cafes near or near its consumption.

These platforms allow you to collect excess food from local businesses or individuals, prevent food waste and help those in need.

Find a local community fridge.

Community fridges are public spaces where surplus food, including food from local businesses and households, is shared with the local community.

You can get what you need for free.

They’re becoming more common, so it’s worth checking to see if there’s one near you.

Check out the “kids eat free” offers.

Many restaurants and cafes offer “kids eat free” deals, which can help families stretch their budgets.

These deals are usually available during school holidays or certain days of the week, although some of them require you to spend a minimum.

Use coupons and vouchers.

Coupons and vouchers can help lower your grocery bills.

Look for them in newspapers, magazines and online.

Check out our supermarket coupons that offer a variety of discounts that can make a big difference.

Local charities and churches

While Trussell Trust has an extensive network across the country, not all food banks are part of it, and there are other sources of emergency food.

Many local charities and churches offer free food or food parcels.

It is worth reaching out to them for help.

Government assistance

Check if you are eligible for any government support, such as Universal Credit.

According to Entitled To, around £8 billion remains to be claimed in UC, so it’s definitely worth checking to see if you can get extra financial support.

You can. Use the benefits calculator. To see if you’re missing anything.

Although it may take some time for the claim to be processed, more financial assistance may be available immediately.

Ask your local council about this. Domestic Relief FundJoe money can help if you are struggling to pay for essentials, energy and water bills and food.

Naomi WillisNaomi Willis
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