• Conor has called for urgent action to help the soaring number of people forced to rely on St Helens food banks

    foodbanks

    The Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest food bank network , published new figures this week revealing how many emergency food parcels it has delivered in St Helens North.

    Shocking figures reveal that between April and September 2016 volunteers provided 2,224 emergency food supplies to adults and children in St Helens North. A total of 778 of the emergency aid parcels, which contain enough food for three days, went to children in the constituency.

    Commenting Mr McGinn said: “It’s shocking that the number of people in St Helens who are forced to rely on food banks has continued to rise.

    “I have visited the foodbank in St Helens and whilst the volunteers there do an amazing job, it is shameful that so many people, including children, have been pushed into poverty because of the policies of this Tory Government.

    “As one of the world’s richest economies in 2016, families should not be reliant on emergency food handouts just to survive, and that’s why I support the Trussell Trust’s idea of a new hotline to help the most urgent cases.”

    Across the UK, the Trussell Trust’s network of 420 food banks distributed 519,342 food packages to people in crisis between April and September 2016 – compared to 506,369 over the same period last year.

    Conor is backing the Trussell Trust’s call on the Government to set up special telephone hotlines between food banks and the Department for Work and Pensions to enable volunteers to help those using food banks solve their problems more quickly.

    The Trussell Trust said problems with benefit payments, including administrative delays and benefit sanctions, were the biggest reason why individuals were referred to food banks.

    It says the new hotline would focus on the most urgent cases and provide vital, trouble-shooting support for people referred to food banks because of problems with a welfare claim.

    It would help ensure the underlying causes of people’s crises are tackled faster, reducing stress and negative impact on the mental wellbeing of people due to delays, admin errors and instances where benefit sanctions have been questionably applied.

    David McAuley, Chief Executive of The Trussell Trust, said: “To stop UK hunger we must make sure the welfare system works fairly and compassionately, stopping people getting to a point where they have no money to eat.”