Foodbank use

Stephen Hepburn, the Labour MP for the Jarrow Constituency, has questioned Government Ministers on foodbank use in the region. 

Mr Hepburn asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if the Government will make an estimate of the number of people using food banks in the North East. 

The Jarrow constituency MP also asked the Government if they would make an assessment of the potential for an increase in food bank use during the school summer holidays in South Tyneside and the North East.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger published a report last year on food poverty and insecurity. They found that children from low-income families, who are entitled to free school meals during term time, were coming back to school after the summer holidays in a worse educational, health and developmental state than that in which they had left. They concluded that the Government should look into ‘holiday hunger’ and increases in foodbank use during school summer holidays. 

In response to Mr Hepburn’s questions, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, Justin Tomlinson MP responded with: “We do not record the number of people using food banks or other types of food aid. We are currently reviewing research carried out by organisations including the Trussell Trust, to add to our understanding of food bank use, and will consider requirements to add to our evidence base.”

Between April 2017 and March 2018, food poverty charity the Trussell Trust’s foodbank network distributed 64,209 three day emergency food supplies in the North East to people in crisis.

Stephen Hepburn MP said: “It is deeply disappointing that the Government do not measure the number of people using foodbanks so it is left to charities and volunteers.”

“It is particularly concerning that the number of households relying on the charity of foodbanks to survive has gone up by 300 per cent in our region since 2010, a shocking indictment of the misrule by the Tory government since they came to power.”

“I’m going to keep raising this issue with Ministers responsible to ensure they start taking this problem seriously.”


Meet your MP


Stephen Hepburn has served the Jarrow Constituency as MP since 1997.

He was last elected to serve in June 2017 and won the seat with a conclusive 17,263 majority.

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