McLaughlin: Deeply distressing that almost 5,000 children in Derry City and Strabane relying on emergency support from Trussell Trust food banks

SDLP Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin has described statistics from the Trussell Trust showing that 4,740 children in Derry City and Strabane District Council are relying on emergency support from Trussell Trust food banks as deeply distressing.

Comparing usage of Trussell Trust food banks from 19/20-21/22, Derry City and Strabane District Council experienced the biggest increase of any local authority. In Derry City and Strabane, usage increased from 4,877 in 2019/20 to 10,988 in 2021/22, an increase of 125%.

Ms. McLaughlin said: “The fact that in 2022 almost 5,000 children across Derry and Strabane are relying on emergency food demonstrates the scale of the crisis that is facing our society and evidences how the economy is simply not working for people across our city. The truth is that we can never normalise the existence of food banks in our society. It’s unconscionable that the inequalities that were present before the current crisis have only been exacerbated in recent months.

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“These statistics bode very ill for this winter. People across Derry are genuinely terrified of how they will cope amid spiralling prices and unsustainable costs and we will all need to do everything possible to support local services throughout the months ahead and get help to those who need it.

In Derry City and Strabane, usage increased from 4,877 in 2019/20 to 10,988 in 2021/22, an increase of 125%.

“With Liz Truss assuming power in Westminster, she should take the opportunity to announce an emergency budget, deliver support for people and demand that the DUP get back into government here at Stormont. Although I have very little confidence that she will be on the side of working people in Northern Ireland, she must wake up to the scale of this crisis and get a grip on the challenges people are facing.”

SDLP Foyle MLA Sinead McLaughlin.