The rise and rise of food banks: the Food Ethics Council’s APPG response
As the cost of living escalates, more and more people are struggling to feed themselves and food banks are the emergency solution many are turning to. In fact, there are now estimated 3,000 food banks in the UK – more than the number of McDonalds branches. And that’s not including lots of other emergency food aid provision – and the many people who are reluctant to turn to emergency support.
While emergency food aid is a much-needed lifeline for people in a crisis, there is a danger of normalising food bank use and being trapped in crisis mode rather than addressing the systemic, long-term causes of poverty that mean people can’t access and afford good food.
We need to look at everything from Universal Basic Income to real living wages to solve the issue’s root causes. We need to enshrine people’s right to food in law and make sure that everyone can access food with dignity. And we also shouldn’t forget the social and community functions that local hubs and groups can have beyond filling empty stomachs.
The Food Ethics Council made these points in our response to the recent call for evidence from the APPG on Ending the Need for Food Banks. Read our full response below.