JRF response to Food Foundation and Trussell Trust reports on food poverty

Responding to the publication of the Food Foundation’s Children’s Future Food Inquiry and the Trussell Trust’s annual food bank data, Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said:

“It is just wrong that in our society a growing number of people, including children, are going hungry because of our consistent failure to get to grips with poverty. When the use of food banks reaches a record high we are beyond the language of warning signs and wake up calls. Unless we take bold action to solve poverty we risk undermining what we stand for as a country.

“None of us want to live in a country where a child’s health, education and future prospects are restricted because their family is locked in poverty. But this is far too often the reality across the UK. If we are to build a compassionate and just society we must work together to act on the concerns of families struggling to make ends meet.

“Low pay, insecure work, high cost of living, especially housing, and an ineffective social security system are holding people back from a decent life. At a time when we are deciding the future of our country we must redesign the systems that lock so many people in poverty.”

To stem the rise in poverty, JRF is calling for reforms to social security, housing and the jobs market so more people can build a better life. It recommends:

  • Reforming Universal Credit to ensure it more effectively loosens the grip of poverty on families. This requires action to ensure people receive support faster and that the amount they receive properly covers the prices they have to pay
  • We need to see at least 90,000 low-cost rented homes built each year so everyone can access a decent, stable and affordable home
  • The Government should invest in places where people are locked out of opportunity by giving local leaders the funding and tools they need to help deliver more jobs with better pay