A food bank charity says it has handed out 913,000 food parcels in the last year, up from 347,000 the year before.To paraphrase the film 'Field of Dreams' if you offer it, they will come.
The Trussell Trust said a third were given to repeat visitors but that there was a "shocking" 51% rise in clients to established food banks. It said benefit payment delays were the main cause.
In a letter to ministers, more than 500 clergy say the increase is "terrible".
The government said there was no evidence of a link between welfare reforms and the use of food banks.
However, the Trussell Trust, the largest food bank provider in the UK, said benefits payments had been a particular problem since welfare changes were introduced just over a year ago.
Some 83% of food banks reported that benefits sanctions - when payments are temporarily stopped - had resulted in more people being referred for emergency food.
And more than 30% of visits were put down to a delay in welfare payments.
The second biggest reason, given by 20% of food bank users, was low income.
I've been on benefits before, I've even had difficulties with the benefits office over missing payments, yet never has my family gone hungry, I've always managed to find a way and never been tempted by charities. Still, if someone were to offer free food then yes I'd take it, but I'd spend the money saved on something else because I'd have some spare cash after doing it, granted it might cover fuel costs to getting to an interview, but there would have been savings.
So when a charity giving away free food tells me that there's been a shocking rise in 'customers' I'm not surprised, people will use it if it's available and people have less pride these days in doing so, owing to benefits dependency lifestyles.
Fact is, these charities don't realise or factor in whose pockets the money to pay benefits comes from, they seem to think its the governments. We who pay taxes fund benefits and the benefits budget is far too high owing to government incompetency and the fact that some people will not work no matter what.
There are an awful lot of things wrong with the country and benefits lifestyle is one of them and the government is right to tackle it. However offering free food and then bitching about the fact that people take it is not helping, if anything it's prolonging the problem...