Low pay and food bank usage

Meeting: 
MQT on 2019-06-20
Session date: 
June 20, 2019
Reference: 
2019/12109
Question By: 
Leonie Cooper
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

How many Londoners are accessing food banks despite being in work? Can you break this figure down by year since 2012?

Answers

Answer for Low pay and food bank usage
Low pay and food bank usage

Low pay and food bank usage

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The following provides a breakdown of the number of emergency food supplies given out by the Trussell Trust in London since 2013-14, the earliest the data was recorded. This is a measure of volume rather than unique users. The Trussell Trust state that on average people needed two food bank referrals in the last year.

  • 2013/14: 95,639
  • 2014/15: 104,799
  • 2015/16: 110,364
  • 2016/17: 111,101
  • 2017/28: 134,244
  • 2018/19: 166,512

The primary cause for referral to Trussell Trust food banks in 2018-19 was ‘income not covering the cost of essentials’ (33.3 per cent), which shows employment isn’t automatically a route out of poverty. Trussell Trust figures don’t account for all food bank use as there are hundreds of independent providers that aren’t mapped. Furthermore, these statistics don’t represent the true scale of food insecurity, which is why I committed to measuring levels of household food insecurity in London for the first time in my London Food Strategy.