Nearly 3 million emergency food parcels were given out in the Trussell Trust’s UK wide network between 2022 and 2023, according to their latest report. The following chart shows the number of food parcels delivered per 100,000 people in different regions across the UK. While London was the region with the highest absolute number of food parcels distributed (384,477) between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023, when looking at a breakdown of food parcels delivered per 100,000 people, Wales emerges as the region with the highest rates of dependency on food banks (5,963 people per 100,000). Other areas with notably high dependency are the North East with 5,833 parcels delivered per 100,000 population and the East of England with 5,122 per 100,000.
This map illustrates the scale and widespread nature of food insecurity in the UK, with food banks being relied on in all regions. The situation is likely considerably worse than these figures alone show, since this data does not take into account the many people who are food insecure and do not receive support from food banks, or the wide range of emergency food provisions that are relied on across the country from other sources.
According to the Trussell Trust, while the pandemic and cost of living crisis have had a serious impact on food bank needs in the UK, they are not the sole problems, but rather have exacerbated the longer-term crisis of a weakened social security system. The organization highlights how sustained low levels of income and low levels of social security payments are among the main reasons for people to need to rely on food banks.