Written evidence from Feeding Britain CLP0006

 

Cost of Living Payments

  1. Our main observation centres upon Cost of Living Payments and the need for charitable food aid. Since the introduction of Cost of Living Payments, the use of projects such as food banks and food clubs (including pantries and social supermarkets) across our network has tended to decrease in the weeks following each round of payments, and then increase in the final couple of weeks before the next round of payments.

 

  1. Clearly these cash transfers have played an important role in helping some of the poorest households in our country cover the costs of food and other essentials. However, exceptionally high inflation, which disproportionately affects those households, has made the task of stretching their budgets across the whole period between each round of payments much more difficult. 

 

  1. Our second observation is around the swift and effective support which stems from the adoption of a largely automated approach to identifying eligible households and then processing awards. We believe that the Department for Work and Pensions should apply the lessons of the Cost of Living Payments and the Warm Home Discount and extend this automated approach to Healthy Start and income-related free school meals, thereby ensuring maximum take-up of each scheme.

 

April 2023