Thousands of emergency supplies were handed out by food banks in the East Riding last year, figures from a leading charity show.
The Trussel Trust says a record number of packages were handed out nationally, with benefit payments which fail to cover living costs and Universal Credit delays among the reasons given.
Between April 2018 and March 2019, the charity handed out 7,972 emergency three-day food packages at food banks in the East Riding – 31% of them to children.
The total was a 6% decrease on the previous year, when 8,490 were distributed.
But across Yorkshire and the Humber, nearly 90,000 emergency food supplies were handed out last year – a 16% increase on the previous 12 months.
The Trussell Trust said that, across the UK, almost half of food bank referrals made due to a delay in benefits being paid were linked to Universal Credit.
It said the Government should end the five-week wait for a first Universal Credit payment to help reduce reliance on food banks. In total, the charity distributed more than 1.5 million food packages in 2018-19 across 1,200 sites in the UK – 19% more than the year before.
The Trussell Trust’s chief executive Emma Revie said: “What we are seeing year upon year is more and more people struggling to eat because they simply cannot afford food. This is not right.
“As a priority, we’re urging the Government to end the wait for Universal Credit to ease the pressure on thousands of households.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “It is not true to say that people need to wait five weeks for their first payment. Universal Credit is available to claimants on day one. It also cannot be claimed that Universal Credit is driving the overall use of food banks or that benefit changes and delays are driving growth.
“The trust’s own analysis shows a substantial fall in the share of parcels being issued due to benefit payment delays.
“The best route out of poverty is to help people into sustainable employment which we are doing.”