Yesterday I wrote to the Prime Minister regarding the horrifying findings of the Trussell Trust. I highlighted to her the 73% rise of the use of foodbanks in the last five years. In particular, the 24,686 emergency three-day food parcels issued to Leeds residents who cannot afford to eat. The fact that 9,733 children were among these is not good enough for the people I represent and fight for. To aid these people who have been reduced to this: I have endorsed an Armley Helping Hands distribution centre that has opened with the help of Leeds North & West foodbank.
This crisis has been linked to Universal Credit since almost half of Foodbank requests came from those who have been put under the new benefits system. It has led the vulnerable to an unacceptable position, such as one of my constituents who through the UC system is now £500 a year worse off under the system. I will make my voice heard in Parliament and have requested the PM look into the five-week waiting period for Universal Credit claimants. This should be a country where Foodbanks are not needed or wanted.