UK food banks under record pressure – study

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According to new research, the UK’s food banks are being overwhelmed by a “unprecedented” increase in demand amid double-digit inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.

According to a survey released on Sunday by the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN), an organization that represents over 550 independent food banks, 89% of organizations saw an increase in the number of people seeking assistance in December and January compared to the same period last year.

Furthermore, over 80% of food banks reported that many Britons seeking assistance were doing so for the first time in their lives. Approximately half of the organizations polled also stated that if demand increased, they would be forced to reduce the volume of assistance or refuse some applicants entirely.

The document attributed these developments primarily to rising living costs. These have been fueled by skyrocketing inflation and soaring energy prices, which have been exacerbated by Western sanctions imposed on Russia in response to the Ukraine conflict. Other reasons include insufficient wages, the time required to receive a first social security payment from authorities, and benefit deductions.

Britons’ living standards are set to fall ‘permanently,’ according to a new report.

IFAN warned that the current situation is “unsustainable,” and urged the UK government to increase social security assistance to keep up with rising day-to-day costs, as well as eliminate the five-week waiting period for the first social security check.

While inflation in the United Kingdom has slowed in recent months, it remained at 10.1% in January. In the same month, food inflation reached 16.7%.

Against this backdrop, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research claimed earlier this month that the crisis was causing a “permanent” drop in living standards for UK households. It also warned that seven million British households, or one in every four, would be unable to fully cover their energy and food bills beginning in April, when the government begins to reduce its subsidy program.