Fourteen million people in the UK currently live below the poverty line, including 4.5 million children. There has been a year on year increase of 13% in the use of foodbanks across the UK in the past few years. The Trussell Trust has reported that it gave out 658,000 emergency food parcels between April and the end of September 2018. Of these 233,000 went to families with children. During the year 2017-18 it gave out a record 1.3m food parcels to an estimated 666,000 people.
More than 170,000 individuals and families are experiencing destitution and the charity Crisis recently reported that the number of rough sleepers in England has more than doubled in the last five years. The recent Heriot-Watt University report revealed that more than 12,300 of these people are sleeping rough on the streets and nearly 12,000 are sleeping in vehicles or tents, with the remainder fighting for hostel places. Nearly 600 homeless people died in England and Wales last year, a rise of almost a quarter (24 per cent) over five years. The number of young people affected is also rising – the number of homeless people under 25 has now reached 38,000. Bristol and the South West has the third highest number of rough sleepers compared to other regions nationally.
As these numbers increase year on year, more and more support and resources are needed to help the people directly affected and in need.
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