In February, I wrote about the increase in the use of food banks. This is a charged issue, not only because of the origin of the lad on the front page of the Daily Mirror.
Charities such as the Trussell Trust argue that more people are receiving food parcels because more people need food. Demand is up, they say, partly due to specific changes to the benefits system made by the coalition government.
The Department for Work and Pensions says the increase is about supply rather than demand. It argues, for instance, that there are many more food banks than there were five years ago and points out that if things are free then people will want them. Media coverage about the issue might also have raised would-be users’ awareness.
On Wednesday, the Trussell Trust released data for the financial year 2013/14.