Food bank use in Peterborough ‘up 50% in a year’ MP tells Work and Pensions Secretary

Lisa Forbes, MP for Peterborough
Lisa Forbes, MP for Peterborough
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Food banks in the Peterborough constituency have seen a 50 per cent rise in demand in the past year, according to MP Lisa Forbes.

During questions to ministers in the House of Commons today (Monday), the Labour MP said: “With former Thomas Cook employees being offered food bank vouchers by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Trussell Trust in Peterborough reporting a 50 per cent increase in the number of food parcels given to my constituents in the last year alone, can the Secretary of State tell us what impact she thinks the collapse of Thomas Cook will have on these figures?”

Making her debut at the despatch box as Work and Pensions Secretary, Therese Coffey replied: “The hon. Lady was at our first taskforce and I am sure she will be impressed with the work that we have already been doing together, including the jobs fair that happened last Thursday.

“It is important, and we have seen this with Thomas Cook ex-employees, that they make a Universal Credit claim — some of them have — quickly so they can get the support that they need.

“I welcome, actually, the support that is given through the Trussell Trust in order to help people in this difficult time, but the sooner people come into Jobcentre Plus and start claiming Universal Credit, the sooner we can help.