Recent statistics from The Trussell Trust show that between April and September 2017, 13,851 three-day emergency food supplies were given out in Northern Ireland, of these 5,534 were provided for children.
As Coleraine prepares for the roll out of Universal Credit in early December, MLA Maurice Bradley says he fears that constituents within East Londonderry will be left struggling over the Christmas period due to the six week wait for new claimants on Universal Credit.
New analysis of Trussell Trust foodbanks elsewhere in the UK in areas of full Universal Credit rollout shows that foodbanks in areas of full rollout for six months or more have seen a 30% average increase six months after rollout compared to a year before.
“People cannot be left for weeks without any income,” said MLA Bradley.
“Foodbanks are already under pressure at Christmas time, and they simply cannot be left to pick up the pieces of a new benefit roll out.
“Once again we can see how the failure of Sinn Fein to come to an agreement and get Stormont up and running is having an effect on people across Northern Ireland. The DUP is ready to form an Executive today.
“Sinn Fein collapsed our devolved government over ten months ago. They then produced a shopping list of preconditions before they would re-establish an Executive.
“For ten months, SF has blocked key decisions being taken about Northern Ireland’s infrastructure development and reforms in our health and education services.
“Sinn Fein need to stop holding the people of NI to ransom over an Irish Language Act and form an Executive so that we can get Minister’s in place to deal with important issues like health, education, infrastructure and finance.”