Thursday, 22 December 2016 06:37


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The public have been encouraged to donate to food banks over the Christmas period, with December seeing a surge in demand for food parcels for struggling families.

The Trussell Trust have said that demand for food parcels can rise by up to 53% in December in comparison to other months of the year.

Trussell Trust CEO David McAuley, said: “Winter is the hardest time of year for people living on the breadline; many will face stark choices between eating and heating.”

Academic research continues to show that the Conservative government’s benefit sanctions have had the effect of significantly increasing food poverty across the UK.

Research by the University of Glasgow has shown that the benefit sanctions regime imposed by the Conservative government has “detrimental financial, material, emotional and health impacts” and pushes those on JSA and ESA to rely on food banks.

A separate report by the University of Oxford found a “robust link” between the numbers of benefit sanctions and demand for food banks.

Commenting, SNP MSP Ruth Maguire said:

“Many families will struggle financially over Christmas, and it can be a particular struggle for those on the breadline – which is why food bank providers can face a surge in demand over the festive season.

“While the work food banks do is highly commendable, it is unacceptable that so many across the UK are forced to use them. The evidence is clear that the rise in food poverty over recent years has been as a direct result of the Tories ineffective and dehumanising sanctions regime.

“The effects of food poverty are present throughout the year, but will be more keenly felt at Christmas.

“With Christmas a time of giving, I’d encourage those who can afford it to make a donation to their local food bank and to help those struggling this winter.”