Appeal for food donations following rollout of Universal Credit in Hackney

Demand for Hackney Foodbank could surge by up to 50 per cent over the next year, due in part to the recent rollout of Universal Credit.

Statistics announced by the Trussell Trust reveal that in areas that have had full Universal Credit for a year or more, foodbanks have seen a 52 per cent average increase in demand, compared to an increase of 13 per cent in areas without Universal Credit.

The timing couldn’t be worse for Hackney, which is still reeling from huge demand this summer. And as winter draws in and households face the extra cost of staying warm, pressure is mounting.

Melanie Rochford, of Hackney Foodbank, said: “Like many other foodbanks, we are worried about what could happen in our community. We believe that just sending letters to people telling them to reapply for benefits simply isn’t good enough, particularly for people with mental or physical health conditions. The Government needs to take responsibility for moving people over and ensuring there is no gap in payments.”