519,342 three day emergency food supplies distributed in just 6 months.
On December 22nd 2012. I wrote under the heading, "In 2013 Food banks will feed more than 200,000 people in the UK". (http://new-agenda2012.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/in-2013-foodbanks-will-feed-more-than.html)
Today, it is the 22nd December 2016 and there have been a few changes over the years since then.
Between April and September 2016, Trussell Trust Food banks alone distributed 519,342 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis compared to 506,369 during the same period last year. 188,584 of these went to children.
The total number of people who are now reliant on Food bank charities now stands at over 1.2 million and the figure rises each month.
This is what I wrote in 2012.
"This is 2012 soon to become 2013 and Food banks have doubled in number over the past 12 months. In 2013 foodbanks will feed more than 200,000 people across the country, double the number of 2012, and the expectation is that this number will grow. It is a situation about which we should all feel angry, uncomfortable and even ashamed that we have collectively allowed this situation to come about. Some people will no doubt have such emotions, but sadly there are many others who will not. Watch the video and remember that we have been told that "we are all in this together". as usual, there are those who are more "in it" than others. As we lift our glasses across the table full of Christmas dinner with heat rising from the turkey, roast potato's gravy and all the other goodies on our plates, we might consider that there are those who are unable even to qualify for assistance from the foodbanks. It is a sad but true fact that even the Trussell Trust, and all the similar organisations now springing up around Britain, do not have sufficient resources or volunteers to cope with the an ever increasing problem and therefore have to be selective when helping those in need. Many people will spend the next two weeks, as they have spent the past year or even years, on the streets of towns and cities in this country. A country which once boasted having "an empire upon which the sun never sets" and a collective wealth envied by nations around the world in the 19th Century is now, in the 21st Century, reduced to witnessing ordinary people, many of whom actually employed, queuing for food charity. This video report is a damning indictment of the present state of British society, which has been brought about by the failure of government policies over previous decades, and now compounded by the ConDem coalition's "austerity measures" imposed by bankers and the IMF/Eurozone dictats. As I said previously, we should all feel angry, uncomfortable and even ashamed that we have collectively allowed this situation to come about."
The words are as true today as they were 3 years ago. Only the figures have been amended to reflect the scandalous increase in the number of people, families and children who rely on Food bank charities to provide food for their tables. This disgraceful situation has grown alarmingly over the years and continues to grow at a rate which no civilised nation should accept. We must work together to reduce and bring an end to this stain on our society which is now at unacceptable levels and can only get worse with this governments continued drive towards cuts, sanctions and attacks upon living standards across the country.
Austerity is not an economic necessity. Austerity is a political choice and the price is being paid by those least able to afford it.