Shock rise in foodbank claimants says city MP

Birmingham’s children now city’s biggest food bank recipients.

The numbers in Birmingham relying on foodbank parcels to get through Christmas is on the rise – and two thirds of Birmingham’s food parcels now go to children, according to research conducted by a city MP.

The analysis was published by Liam Byrne MP, based on Trussell Trust figures, to mark this weekend’s launch of Liam’s Winter of Compassion campaign. The Birmingham campaign, backed by Jeremy Corbyn, will work with Trussell Trust and Tesco this Saturday to encourage people donate to their local foodbanks, and raise money for St Basils homelessness charity with the Big Brum Sleepout on Friday night.

So far, Liam’s appeal has raised over a tonne of food for people struggling to feed their families this winter and raised almost £1,000 for St Basils. In addition, his research shows:

· Last December saw the number of food parcels provided by the Trussell Trust surge 7.4% in the West Midlands compared with the previous year – with two thirds of those going to children.

· Previous research showed benefit delays to be the number one reason for needing a food parcel and with the roll-out of Universal Credit contributing to increasing pressure this year, foodbanks are expecting demand to be high this Christmas.

The MP for Hodge Hill said: “The toxic combination of austerity and Universal Credit is hurting children in our city now. Our children are bearing the brunt of this Government’s failing policy. That’s why we’re launching our Winter of Compassion campaign, to show how we can take care of each other, because quite frankly, the Government won’t.”

The St Basils Big Brum Sleepout will meet on the corner of Colmore Row and Temple Street West from 10pm on Friday 30 November and the campaign can be donated to here The food bank collection will take place at the Hodge Hill Tesco superstore on Coleshill Road at 11.30 am on Saturday 1st December.