Food banks used by 3% of UK families amid cost of living crisis
About 3% of families in the UK - at least 2.1 million people - used a food bank in the past year, amid the country’s cost of living crisis, according to official figures.
That rose to about one in nine (11%) for families receiving state income-related benefits.
Those in the north of England and Scotland were most likely to have used a food bank in the previous 12 months compared to the rest of the UK.
These are the first Department for Work and Pensions figures on food bank use.
The data was collected between April 2021 and March 2022, with people asked if they had been to a food bank in the last 12 months and last 30 days. So the figures cover some of the pandemic but miss most of the energy price crisis, which hit in April 2022.
It comes amid the continuing cost-of-living crisis, with prices rising more than expected, according to new inflation figures released this week.
Asked if they had used a food bank within the last 30 days, about 1% of families (at least 600,000 people) said yes - rising to about 3% for families on benefits.
Some 4% of families in Scotland and the north of England had used a food bank within the 12-month period, while 3% had in Wales, the West Midlands and south-east of England.
The figure fell to 2% for Northern Ireland, the East of England, East Midlands and south-west of England.