Shamefully Foodbank use this Christmas is set to be the busiest on record, the Trussell Trust warns.
The charity said that its 400 foodbanks are expected to be called upon to deliver more emergency food supplies over the Christmas period than ever before.
Numbers are expected to be higher than last December, when the Trust provided 160,000 emergency three-day food supplies.
This was a 49 per cent increase on the monthly average for the entirety of 2017, and was a 10 per cent increase on the amount of people in need in December 2016.
The Trust says that the implementation of the controversial universal credit (UC) benefits payment system had made matters worse and that issues with UC remain the most common given reason for foodbank usage.
Other reasons given for the predicted rise in usage are wage and benefits payment issues, as well as the inability of benefits to cover essential living costs.
Trussell Trust chief executive Emma Revie said: “Christmas is supposed to be a time for joy but what we’re seeing is the festive period becoming increasingly stressful for more and more people across the country.
“Our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty, but what we’re seeing is people struggling to heat homes and put food on the table because they simply cannot afford the basics any more, and that just isn’t right.
“Ultimately, it’s unacceptable that anyone should have to use a foodbank in the first place.
Pat Harrington, Director of the Third Way think tank declared: “This is a stain on our country and the Tories would, if they had any decency left, feel ashamed. In a relatively prosperous and advanced nation people are having to resort to charity to eat. What does that say about the moral bankruptcy of those who preside over this?”