Leeds STV
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The a huge number of families in Leeds who can’t stand to buy their own food

More than 40,000 people in Leeds visited a foodbank in the past year.

Data from the Leeds Food Aid Network has shown that there has been a 19 per cent increase in people visiting foodbanks between 2019/20 compared to 2018/19 – a total of 41,282 compared to 33,645 a year before.

This data only covers the first week of coronavirus lockdown, which could be attributed to the increase, but a rise in people needing universal credit (with a five week waiting period) has also been suggested as a cause by the Food Aid Network.

However, separate figures have been released to show the rise that happened exclusively during the first lockdown months, up to mid-May.

Data recorded during lockdown, which covers March 16 to May 17, showed 23,282 people accessed emergency food parcels via a referral or phone line, three times the amount expected in this period.

“You can’t justify this by planning to phase out polluting petrol and diesel vehicles and replace them with electric ones.

“We need to go much further than just getting out of one type of car and into another.

“Investment in better cycling and walking should be part of a fair and green post-coronavirus economic recovery plan aimed at creating a cleaner, fairer future.”

Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson is a native of Leeds, journalist and PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow. She is mainly interested in foreign affairs, geopolitics and investigative journalism.

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