Shocking statistics from the Trussell Trust show that foodbank use has gone up by 170% in the last 12 months. This shocking spike in foodbank usage is symbolic of the fact that life for many working families is getting harder. The cost of living is mounting at a faster rate than people’s wages are increasing- it’s not surprising that foodbanks are having to fill the gap.
Rachel has been working to highlight this in Parliament. Labour MPs generously donated to a food trolley that was sent to a foodbank before Christmas. On Wednesday 18th December, Rachel held a lobby in Parliament which was attended by numerous charities and campaigners such as Jack Monroe. This was followed by a debate on foodbank use secured by Labour, and Rachel used this debate to highlight how sanctions, benefit delays and the bedroom tax are, under this Coalition, leading to ordinary people having to turn to charity to feed themselves and their children.
Rachel said during the debate: ‘The charities, churches, community groups and volunteers who run the food banks show us Britain at its best—a country of generosity and solidarity, of one nation where people pull together to do what they can for the least fortunate among us. We should, and we do, applaud them.... When the Prime Minister promised us the big society, is this really what he had in mind—homelessness rising, a boom in payday lending, more and more lives scarred by long-term unemployment, and half a million people relying on food banks to feed themselves and their families?
‘It is downright Dickensian, a tale of two nations: tax cuts for the rich and food banks for the poor.’