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Posted on 28th March 2022

The Times: Letter to the Editor

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Wednesday 23rd March 2022

Sir, Your leading article hits the bullseye. Households seeking our help have been struggling with the rising cost of living since last autumn. Many of those whom we used to see once a month we now see once a week, if not daily. In tandem with this need for food, there is a growing need for our help with gas and electricity costs.

Surveys suggest that, before last autumn, the number of people needing to use a food bank was starting to fall. Based on our experience, the temporary increase in universal credit (UC) payments was partly responsible for that reduction in need, alongside measures to protect and create jobs, and to maintain children’s access to food and activities during the school holidays. Our fear is that a failure in the spring statement to increase UC payments in line with inflation will result in the slamming shut of the window of opportunity to continue reducing the need for food banks.

Andrew Forsey

National director, Feeding Britain