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A volunteer at a Trussell Trust food bank in Wandsworth, south-west London, prepares a parcel of donated items [Image: Leon Neal/Getty Images].

Food banks are dealing with increasing numbers of clients because of the chaotic introduction of Universal Credit – and what about higher demand because of the school holidays?

Pupils benefit from school meals during term time, but poverty-stricken parents have to provide for them during the holidays, and many have to turn to food banks because Conservative policies mean companies get away with paying them a pittance for their services.

Do the rich, who have benefited from Tory policies, ever contribute to food banks?

In a storage room at a food bank in Kingston, south-west London, the manager raises his hand above his head to show how high the crates of canned fruit get in October. Today, the stack barely reaches his knees.

Paul Pickhaver says the facility receives fewer donations in summer, so whatever comes in goes straight out of the door for distribution. In recent weeks, it has run low on instant coffee, tinned vegetables, fruit juice, squash and many other items.

This food bank is not alone. A record number have been forced to ask for donations this summer after running out of some items, according to Trussell Trust, Britain’s biggest food bank network.

The charity said 42 of its centres – about 10 per cent of its network – released an urgent appeal for items on social media, or through local media, in the past three months.

Source: ‘Austerity causes a lot of suffering’: record number of food banks report stock shortage | Society | The Guardian


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