THOUSANDS of emergency food parcels were handed out in Basingstoke and Deane last year. 

Research by The Trussell Trust showed that 7,632 emergency food parcels were handed out to people in need across its nine locations in the borough in the year to March – up slightly from 7,547 the year before.

Of these parcels, 3,034 were delivered to support vulnerable children.

This was a rise compared to 2019-20, before the Covid pandemic, when 4,773 were handed out, but a drop on 2020-21 when the charity’s locations across the borough distributed 9,865 parcels – 5,921 were given to adults and 3,944 to children.

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An emergency food parcel provides food for either three or seven days. These figures cover food parcels handed out by the Trussell Trust, but other organisations may also be providing support to those in need in the area.

The figures have been released as the charity has called on n political parties to commit to tackling the problem, urging them to back a "supportive social security system" and provide better support for parents, carers and people with disabilities who can face increased living costs.

Emma Revie, its chief executive, said: "It’s 2024 and we’re facing historically high levels of food bank need. As a society, we cannot allow this to continue. We must not let food banks become the new norm.

"As we approach the next general election, we urgently need all political leaders to set out how they will build a future where no one needs a food bank to survive.

"Voters want to see a change and we need cross-government action at all levels to deliver it."

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Across the UK, the number of emergency food parcels provided has nearly doubled in five years, topping 3.1 million in 2023-24.

The Government said its cost-of-living support package had prevented 1.3 million people from falling into poverty in 2022-23.

It reiterated it had uprated benefits, raised the state pension and was "raising the National Living Wage, cutting taxes and driving down inflation while investing billions through our Back to Work Plan".