Tom Blenkinsop, Labour’s MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, has today (16th April 2014) branded the latest figures from the Trussel Trust that show a 463% rise in North-East foodbank users as “shocking but unsurprising”.
New figures reveal more than 900,000 people turned to foodbanks for emergency help in the last 12 months – a near three-fold increase on the previous year. In the North-East, the region’s nine Trussell Trust foodbanks reported a 463% rise in demand in just 12 months.
“The vast increase in the number of households and families turning to foodbanks reveals the shocking truth of life under David Cameron’s and Nick Clegg. Nothing is a clearer indication of the cost-of-living crisis millions of people are facing up and down the country than the unprecedented rise in the need for foodbanks.
“Difficulty making ends meet has only been compounded by shambolic welfare reforms and this is something anti-poverty campaigners have highlighted as a major cause for this explosion in numbers of people having to turn to foodbanks.
“I’ve been well aware of this growing crisis for the past few years and I’ve took various actions to try and help, such as, urging supermarkets to develop an online tool to allow shoppers to easily donate online; helping out local foodbanks across Teesside; and even setting up a collection point in my Constituency office in Guisborough.
“The flippant way local Tories have responded to these figures is shameful. Instead of hiding behind the Tory myth, that says the increase in foodbanks is driving demand, it is time Ministers got a grip and took this issue seriously.”