New CAF research indicates that 4% of people have donated money to food banks in the last month, with a median average of £10 given.
In comparison, back in 2019, one Trussell Trust survey showed that more than a third of people had donated to a food bank in the previous 12 months.
Supporting CAF’s latest research, many food banks are reporting a drop in donations as the cost of living crisis worsens in the UK. Black Country Food Bank saw donations fall by 32% in Q1 of this year.
Food banks rely heavily on the public, with the Trussell Trust saying that over 90% of the food distributed by food banks in its Trust network donated by the public.
CAF’s latest research shows more than one in ten people currently know friends or family at risk of food poverty or who are having to use a food bank. A quarter of people (26%) have friends or family struggling to pay their bills, and the same number (26%) struggling with the cost of petrol and diesel. A fifth (20%) also say they have friends or family experiencing fuel poverty.
Alison Taylor, CEO of CAF Bank and Charity Services, Charities Aid Foundation said:
“The cost of food is increasing rapidly around the world and is set to worsen over the next few months. For those that are able to, we would encourage putting a few extra items in your basket for the growing number of families who rely on food banks. There are usually donation points in supermarkets or local collection services.
“In addition to keeping up the food supply for the increasing number of people who are relying on them, food banks are also seeing their own bills go up with the cost of fuel and utilities. Consider how you can help your local food bank through volunteering, sponsoring or donating, and remember to add Gift Aid on any donation.”
Dawn Stanford, Operations Director of Nourish Community Foodbank, commented:
“As we approach the Summer Holidays, Nourish Community Foodbank has just launched our annual Hidden Holiday Hunger Campaign. Children going without food during the summer holidays is sadly a UK wide issue, and in the boroughs of Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge and Malling that we support, 21% of children are living in poverty – that’s the equivalent of one in every five children you see.
“We find that it’s the families where both parents are working hard that are hit hardest, as they often need to find extra money for holiday childcare and additional meals. We ask local supporters to help us provide a family with holiday items to supplement their basic food needs. This can ensure children can enjoy some fresh lunch bag or picnic items that other children are fortunate to have every day. We believe these small gestures can make the world of difference, each child we help eats healthily and as importantly, gets to feel that they aren’t any different to their peers.”
YouGov carried out the poll for CAF, YouGov Plc, questioning 3,302 people online between March and May this year.