Emma stood up in the House of Commons chamber to ask:
“Further to what my hon. Friend the Member for Wallasey (Labour’s Shadow Leader of the House Angela Eagle) said about food banks, the Trussell Trust estimates that almost 350,000 people are using them, and that figure has tripled since 2012. As the Department for Work and Pensions does not record or measure these referrals, how can the Government be sure there is no link between food bank usage and welfare cuts? May we have an urgent debate on this issue?”
But despite several Labour MPs raising the issue, Mr Lansley refused to allow Parliament time for a debate.
Commenting on the Leader of the House’s refusal to debate this issue, Emma said:
“The Government have shown that they do not take this issue seriously. They are happy to ignore the struggle of families who their own policies have pushed to the point of crisis.”
The Trussell Trust Report shows that the number of people using food banks has risen dramatically every year since the Coalition took power. The main reasons people give for turning to food aid are declining incomes and delays or cuts to benefits.
South Shields has a food bank, run by the Christian charity Hospitality and Hope, which provides hot food to those in need. Emma will be visiting this food bank in the coming weeks to learn more about the role of these organisations in addressing the food crisis. Shields residents who require help from Hospitality and Hope should call 07511 617 548.