Chester MP Stephen Mosley has revealed the majority of people using the West Cheshire Foodbank have been affected by benefits changes and sanctions.
Mr Mosley praised the volunteers who work at the food bank and the thousands of his constituents who make donations.
He also conceded benefits changes were part of the problem but believes a “more joined-up” system would provide the long-term solution.
Mr Mosley, speaking during a Commons debate on food banks, said: “At the end of last month, I was privileged to visit the West Cheshire food bank in my constituency. Like all food banks, it is run by a group of hard-working volunteers and supported by generous donations from across Cheshire.”
He added: “Figures from my local food bank show that 59% of those who have used the food bank since April have visited because of changes to benefits and a growing number of people are visiting because of sanctions.”
Mr Mosley continued: “Let us make no mistake about it: food banks were not created by, for or because of this Government. They predate the Government, they predate recent welfare changes and they reflect deep long-term problems with our benefits system. As the majority of people who need food bank assistance are those who face changes to benefits, the clear long-term solution is a more joined-up benefits system.”
Alec Spencer, development office for West Cheshire Foodbank, said afterwards: “I was pleased that Stephen Mosley’s speech to the House of Commons addressed a number of our concerns.
“He clearly recognised the importance of the work that we do and understands that changes to benefits and benefit sanctions are a primary driver of Foodbank use.”