The Guardian reports today that government officials have commissioned an investigation into the recent growth in the number of food banks, soup kitchens and school breakfast clubs as austerity hits the living standards of Britain’s poorest.
The research will examine the extent and effectiveness of emergency food aid and will explore what causes ‘at-risk individuals’ to become ‘food aid users’.
As the graph below shows, while the number of people using food banks increased in the years immediately preceding the coalition’s austerity drive, since 2009-10 the number of people being fed by food banks has trebled.
Data shown to Left Foot Forward by the Trussell Trust also shows that in January of this year alone a staggering 35,095 people were fed by the network of over 300 food banks.
If the current trend is repeated throughout the rest of the year, just under half a million people will have used an emergency food bank before the year is out.
What a damning indictment of George Osborne’s failed austerity drive.