‘Hard to know’ why people use foodbanks – minister

A coalition government minister has claimed it is ‘very hard to know' why people go to foodbanks.
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Lord Freud, said in the House of Lords: 'On the issue of food banks... which we have discussed several times in this House, clearly nobody goes to a food bank willingly. However, it is very hard to know why people go to them'.
He added that a recent review commissioned by the coalition government had shown a 'lack of systematic peer-reviewed research' from the UK on the reasons or immediate circumstances that lead people to turn to food aid.
Chris Mould, chairman of the Trussell Trust foodbank charity, was quoted as saying: 'I'm mystified by his remarks. We've kept statistics for the 14 years we've run foodbanks. This gives a powerful answer why people are in need of them. It's related to benefit changes and low incomes'. The Trussell Trust said 347,000 people used its foodbanks in December, compared with 26,000 a month five years ago.
Source: Debate 4 March 2014, column 1215, House of Lords Hansard, TSO
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Publication date: 
Mar 4 2014