Universal credit leading to rise in food bank use, charity says

The trust said more than a fifth of referrals to its network of 428 food banks were generated as a result of claimants facing delays in benefit payments. Nearly a third of this group were waiting specifically for a first universal credit payment.

The biggest single reason for a food bank referral over the period (31%) was the failure of benefit payments to cover the cost of living essentials, while benefit changes – a category that includes benefit sanctions – accounted for 17% of referrals.