Foodbanks in the UK are at "breaking point" as the cost of living continues to rise, a leading charity has warned.

Almost 1.3 million emergency parcels have been given to people living in hunger in just six months, The Trussell Trust has reported. 

New research has revealed the record-breaking levels of need with one in five individuals being referred to its network now coming from working households.

More emergency food parcels have been given out between April and September than ever before, according to the organisation's figures. 

Glasgow Times: UK Foodbanks are at 'breaking point' (PA)UK Foodbanks are at 'breaking point' (PA) (Image: PA)

320,000 people have been forced to go to a foodbank for the first time over the past six months, the charity added. 

1.3 million food parcels were given out in the UK in six months by Trussell Trust

Of the nearly 1.3 million food parcels that were handed out by food banks in the Trussell Trust’s UK network during the same period, almost half-a-million went to children.

Compared to the same timeframe before the pandemic, the number has doubled.

It is also a third more parcels than what was given out between April and September last year.

For the first time in the charity's history, demand for parcels is exceeding donations.

The Trussell Trust has warned that foodbanks are now at “breaking point”.

The charity says this is due to a “tsunami of need” driven by the cost-of-living crisis as it called on the Government to provide adequate support in its upcoming budget.

Josie Barlow, food bank manager at Bradford Food Bank, said: “Someone who came to the food bank recently told me that ‘buying milk is a luxury now’. So many people are struggling with bills and food prices.

“We are fortunate to be able to help people and we work hard to support them in both the short and long term, but we are also facing challenges.

“We have seen a huge increase in people coming to the food bank in the last two months compared with the same period last year and our stock levels are very low for this time of the year.”

Emma Revie, chief executive at the Trussell Trust, said: “These new statistics show that, even in summer months, people are struggling to afford the essentials and we are expecting that this winter will be the hardest yet for food banks and the people they support. This is not right.”

She added: “We are calling for the Prime Minister to act decisively in next week’s budget. We urge the UK government to realise their commitment of supporting people on the lowest income with a broad package of support.

“As well as ensuring that benefits rise with inflation as soon as possible, this must go further to close the gap between price rises and incomes over the winter.”

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A Government spokesman said: “We are directly supporting households in need following the aftershocks from the pandemic and Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine, including sending another Cost-of-Living Payment this month worth £324 to over eight million people, part of a £1,200 package for those on the lowest incomes.

“Our extensive immediate support for families also includes our energy price guarantee, saving around £700 for a typical household over winter, and our household support fund, worth over £1 billion to help people with essential costs, combined with longer-term changes such as altering Universal Credit to help people keep £1,000 more of what they earn every year.”

Deliveroo launches food collection service with Trussell Trust ahead of Christmas

Glasgow Times: Deliveroo to launch food collection service (PA)Deliveroo to launch food collection service (PA) (Image: Mikael Buck/Deliveroo/PA)

Deliveroo will launch a food collection service alongside the Trussell Trust as we approach Christmas.

The takeaway delivery company Deliveroo will collect donations from people's doorsteps who are unable to physically donate at supermarket stations.

'Collecteroo' will allow for unopened, in-date food items to be taken from people’s homes and delivered to food banks in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, and Cardiff.

You can sign up in advance to arrange a collection between December 12 and 17, and the public is encouraged to donate tins of fruit, meat, fish and tomatoes, pasta sauce, sponge or rice puddings and long-life milk and juice.

Will Shu, chief executive of Deliveroo, said: “Our research highlights that people have food in their cupboards that they would like to donate, so working closely with the Trussell Trust, our Collecteroo service will help make it easier for people to donate by connecting local residents to local food banks.

“Together with our consumers, we are committed to helping to tackle hunger across the UK.”

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow work and pensions secretary, called the figures “staggering”.

The Labour MP said it was “frankly shameful that so many emergency food parcels are now needed to feed hungry children”.

“The Tories crashed the economy and working people are paying the price of the cost-of-living crisis engulfing families, disabled people and pensioners.”