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15 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Number of children visiting foodbanks has doubled because of pandemic, MPs told

By Samuel Horti

The number of children relying on foodbanks has more than doubled because of the coronavirus pandemic, a leading charity has said.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust charity, told a committee of MPs that there was now a disproportionately high number of young people visiting foodbanks. In March, the number of people visiting foodbanks jumped 81 per cent compared to March. For children, the increase was 122 per cent.

“The impact of pandemic was instantaneous and profound,” she said. “The primary reason why people were coming was because of an insufficiency of funds to buy essentials, one of those being food.”

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of food charity FareShare, said that foodbanks had suffered from shoppers stockpiling goods from supermarkets. 

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“Initially with the dramatic increase consumer demand and clearing of shelves and stocking that went on, our supply chain was cut off at the knees,” she said.

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“The supermarkets, although they reacted incredibly quickly, had to divert all their attention and focus into just trying to find whatever supply they could.

“We have about 7,500 charities that collect food from the back of supermarket stores on a daily basis, as well as the other 5,500 that are supplied through a wholesale model and we saw a dramatic drop.”