With the cost-of-living crisis worsening, the number of people having to turn to food banks to feed their families has increased massively. And with demand unlikely to lessen any time soon, those food banks who support so many people are themselves in need of support. That’s where Food Bank Day comes in.
The first Food Bank Day will take place on 30 November. It aims to encourage people to support these essential resources in whatever way they can.
Food bank use in 2022
It’s no surprise that with the cost of living increasing almost by the day, more people than ever are relying on food banks, with even those with more modest incomes now struggling. The Trussell Trust’s mid-year statistics, which are made up of data collected between April and September of this year, paint a very bleak picture.
- Over 320,000 people used a Trussell Trust food bank for the first time ever during this time
- 1.3mn emergency food parcels were given out in just six months
- This was a 52% increase on the same period in 2019
- 500,000 of these parcels were given to children
- One in five of those referred to a Trussell Trust food bank were from households with at least one person in work
- 86,500 food parcels were given out in Yorkshire and Humberside between April and September
Most concerningly of all, for the first time, demand is greater than supply as the need for emergency food is now outstripping donations.
Food Bank Day
Food Bank Day was started this year by Simon Baum, with the aim of giving food banks a boost in the run up to one of their busiest periods of the year. Having seen some of his close friends having to turn to them, including one who was already working two jobs, Simon wanted to do something to support food banks at a time when demand is up and donations are down.
Food Bank Day highlights four things people can be doing to help these banks, at both a local and national level:
- Give to your local one – food, as well as other items such as toilet roll, nappies and personal hygiene products are all in demand
- Volunteer to help out
- Donate financially, either to your local one or the Trussell Trust
- Write to your local MP demanding action
Simon makes it clear that, while he hopes this day won’t need to become an annual event, while ever food banks are needed, Food Bank Day will continue to support them. He added:
“I believe food banks shouldn’t exist and Food Bank Day isn’t a celebration. This is an emergency and we need a national conversation about food banks.”
As well as making donations, volunteering and writing to your MP, you can show your support on social media by using #FoodBankDayNov30 and following @FoodBankDay on Twitter. You can visit their website foodbankday.co.uk for more information and also find support for those who may be struggling.
The cause of the cost-of-living crisis is widely debated. But whether it’s the pandemic, the Tories, or the war in Ukraine that’s to blame, one thing is clear. People need food banks and now, food banks need us.