The FoodBank is concerned that leading to Christmas the demand for food will spike. Issues with a benefit payment remain the biggest cause of referral accounting for around 43 percent of all referrals (25 percent benefit delay; 18 percent benefit change). Analysis of foodbank data shows that:
- Of people referred due to a benefit delay, 45% of referrals made due to a wait for a first payment were related to Universal Credit and 36% of referrals made because a new claim had not yet been awarded were related to Universal Credit.
- Of people referred due to a benefit change, 38% of referrals made due to a change to a different benefit were related to Universal Credit.
Low income or Food Poverty refers to anyone in work or on benefits struggling to get by on their income, accounts for 27 percent of referrals – suggesting certain pay and benefit levels are not protecting people from falling into crisis.