“The government have no idea how many food banks have opened in the UK since 2010, a minister has admitted.
Former Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain asked the Department for Work and Pensions how many emergency food centres had opened across the country since the Tories came to power.
It revealed it didn’t collect the information.
In a reply to the written question DWP minister Baroness Peta Buscombe said: “There is no official data or record of the number of food banks in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.”
She then suggested that Lord Hain contact the food bank charity the Trussell Trust for figures.
The Labour Peer told the Mirror: “It is outrageous that Tory Ministers haven’t a clue about the disastrous impact upon local communities of their cuts.
“They don’t seem to care what’s going on in the country.”
This isn’t the first time the government have caught failing to record data around food banks.
Last year the It emerged that Jobcentre staff were being ordered not to count how many desperate people they sent to food banks.
The Trussell Trust handed out 1.3million food parcels in 2017 – up from 61,000 in 2010.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust said: “Our network of 1,200 food bank centres is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of highlighting the record levels of poverty across the UK.
“Our data is clear that Universal Credit is driving people to food banks.
“That’s why we’re urging the Government to end the five-week wait on Universal Credit to help create a future without food banks.”