Food banks: The struggle to feed BritainIBTimes UK

More than one million people have turned to food banks in the UK over the past year as numbers climbed to a record high.

Trussell Trust, the largest food bank operator in the country, warned that the figures indicates that, despite signs of economic recovery, the numbers of people turning to food banks continues to grow.

The charity revealed 1,084,604 people, including 396,997 children, received three days' food from one of its centres in 2014/15.

The numbers have rocketed by 18.7% after 913,138 clients turned to the Trussell Trust in the 2013/14 financial year and surged by 1,165% on 2010/11 when 61,468 people used the charity's services.

The figures come with just 15 days to go before the general election with Labour and the Tories almost neck-and-neck in the opinion polls.

Election 2015 at IBTimesUKIBTimes UK

Rachel Reeves, Labour's shadow work and pensions secretary, said: "The shocking rise in the number of people relying on Trussell Trust food banks since 2010 shows the Tory plan is failing.

"David Cameron's failure to tackle low pay, the Bedroom Tax and delays in benefit payments have led to over a million people depending on emergency food aid."

Elsewhere, the Greens called for "urgent action" to tackle the rise in food bank use in the UK.

"This alarming rise in food bank use exposes the truth behind Government claims of an economic recovery," said Amelia Womack, the deputy leader of the Greens.

"Britain is divided. Those at the top flourish while over one million people are relying on emergency food handouts to feed themselves and their families.

"Only bold solutions will address the poverty crisis we face in this country. We urgently need the minimum wage to be a Living Wage and we must rebuild our social security system so that it leaves no one destitute."

The latest data follows a report the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in the UK into the issue, which warned that the nation's food industry wastes 4.3 million tonnes of food every year. The report was backed by the Church of England and Archbishop Justin Welby.

"We all know about the rise in food banks and the number of people turning to them in times of crisis over the last few years," Welby said.

"It's how shocking it is to find this happening here. I've seen much worse. But it's finally here – it's in the wrong place. We don't do that in this country and we need to stop.

"There's been a grassroots response to the problems that have opened our eyes to the problems themselves."