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There are now more food banks in the UK than there are branches of fast food chains like McDonald’s, according to figures that first emerged on Twitter with six days to go before the election.
Official figures suggest there are now more than 2,000 food banks across the UK, the majority of which are run by the charity The Trussell Trust.
In the UK, there are 1,249 McDonald’s branches, with reportedly 500 Burger King branches and 2,000 branches of both Subway and Costa.
A third Twitter user said: “The poorest and most distressed amongst us can’t even afford junk food and have to rely on food banks as the norm. Food banks are not normal !!”
The Trussell Trust, the charity which runs the majority of the UK’s food banks, said it now has a network of 1,200 food banks across the UK.
Research from the Independent Food Aid Network suggested the Trussell Trust’s centres account for roughly two-thirds of all emergency food banks, so they estimate there are “around 2,000 food banks in the UK.”
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “We’re seeing more and more people being pushed to food banks than ever before. People across the country, driven by compassion and a strong sense of justice, have been doing what they can to help, but we all want to see things change.
“It’s time for candidates on all sides to ensure these values are lived out in policies that anchor people from poverty.
“This General Election, all political parties must pledge to protect people from hunger by ensuring everyone has enough money for the basics.
“We want our next government to start working towards a future where no one needs a food bank by ending the five-week wait for Universal Credit; ensuring benefit payments cover the cost of living; and investing in local emergency support for people in crisis.
“Together, these three changes will put money back into the pockets of people who most need our support.
“It’s not right that anyone has to walk through the doors of a food bank in the UK. But it’s in our power as a country to end the need for food banks – this can change.”