'More low-paid' turn to food banks
Growing numbers of people on low incomes are turning to food banks to survive, new research has revealed.
Almost 500,000 adults and children were given three days' food in the first six months of the current financial year - a record - the Trussell Trust reported.
The charity said the number of adults being referred to one of its 400 food banks had increased by 38% compared with the same period last year.
Problems with social security were the biggest trigger for going to a food bank, but more than a fifth blamed low income.
In the six months to September, 492,641 people were given three days' food and support, including 176,565 children, compared with 355,982 during the same period in the previous year.
Trussell Trust chief executive David McAuley said: "Whilst the rate of new food banks opening has slowed dramatically, we're continuing to see a significant increase in numbers helped by them.
"Substantial numbers are needing help because of problems with the social security system but what's new is that we're also seeing a marked rise in numbers of people coming to us with low income as the primary cause of their crisis.
"Incomes for the poorest have not been increasing in line with inflation and many, whether in low-paid work or on welfare, are not yet seeing the benefits of economic recovery.
"Instead they are living on a financial knife-edge where one small change in circumstances or a life shock can force them into a crisis where they cannot afford to eat."