There has been a good deal of media discussion of foodbanks in Britain.However, until recently very little large-scale academic research had been conducted on the subject. This was rectified in 2017 when the Trussell Trust, a charity which runs a UK-wide network of 400 foodbanks, published the findings of a report which was based on respondents in 413 households who had used 18 of the Trust’s foodbanks (Loopstra and Lalor 2017).
The research found that foodbanks were overwhelmingly used by people in desperate need of help. All the users of the food banks were classed as having a low income. Furthermore, 78% of respondents were in households which were ‘severely food insecure’ over the previous year. That meant that due to low income they had cut back on food, experienced hunger or had gone a day or more without eating. This was perhaps unsurprising given that most had very low income levels of between £100 and £500 per month and nearly one in six had received no income at all in the previous month.
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