Food bank use in Falkirk stays above pre-pandemic levels

Demand for emergency food parcels in Falkirk remains above pre-pandemic levels, according to latest figures.

By Will Grimmond
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 4:30 pm

The Trussell Trust, a charity tackling poverty in the UK, supports the country’s largest network of food banks.

Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, they have seen a dramatic increase in the number of emergency food parcels handed out to those in need nationally.

Figures from the charity show 7,779 emergency food parcels were handed out to people in Falkirk in the year to March.

Demand for emergency food parcels remains above pre-pandemic levels. Pic: John Devlin.

This was an increase from 7,547 emergency food parcels distributed in the year to March 2021, and was up 12 per cent on the 6,936 provided in the year to March 2020, before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The charity typically hands out emergency packages containing three days’ worth of food.

Since the start of the pandemic, it has also started providing supplies in seven-day packages, in response to growing need and to limit the number of deliveries.

Across Scotland, a total of 197,037 parcels were handed out by the nation’s 140 distribution centres in the year to March.

The Trussell Trust warned that food bank use has accelerated in the past six months, as the rising cost of basic amenities has hit people’s pockets.

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Emma Revie, chief executive, said: “People are telling us they’re skipping meals so they can feed their children. That they are turning off essential appliances so they can afford internet access for their kids to do their homework.

“How can this be right in a society like ours?

“No one’s income should fall so dangerously low that they cannot afford to stay fed, warm and dry.”

In year to March, 33 per cent – or 2,594 – of the parcels handed out in Falkirk were given to children, up from 2,441 in the year before the pandemic.

Due to a growing number of independent food banks and the existing work of other organisations and charities, the Trussell Trust warns that its figures do not show the full extent of food poverty in the UK.

The Department for Work and Pensions said that it recognises the pressures on the cost of living and is "doing what it can" to help, such as spending £22 billion across the next financial year to support people with energy bills and fuel duty.