Britain's biggest food bank network handed out more support than ever in the most expensive period of the financial year so far, with December 2022 being its busiest year on record
"We are experiencing an unprecedented rise in the number of people coming to the food bank, particularly employed people who are no longer able to balance a low income against rising living costs," said Brian Thomas, the head of South Tyneside Food Bank in Trussell.
Data from the Trussell Trust, announced on Wednesday, show its 1,200 food banks have delivered almost three million food packages between April 2022 and March 2023.
Trussell chief executive Emma Revie said the demand for food parcels had been greater over the past year than during the first year of the Covid pandemic "which we all thought was needed one time in life."
"For too long people have been going without because social security payments do not reflect life's essential costs and people are being pushed deeper into hardship as a result," - Emma Revie
The figures provide a glimpse of the impact of the cost of living on people across the country, and increase pressure on the Government to offer more help.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the 'devastating increase in emergency food parcels' showed the 'price families are paying' for the 13 years of economic failure experienced by the Tories.
"unprecedented rise in the number of people coming to the food bank, particularly employed people who are no longer able to balance a low income against rising living costs." - Brian Thomas
Despite the Government making one-off livelihood payments to help low income households, Trussell said its data indicated it had made no lasting difference.
The Trussell Trust figures are only the tip of the iceberg around increased food safety, Sabine Goodwin, coordinator of the independent Food Aid Network, said in an email.