To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) formal and (b) informal referrals to food banks have been made by Jobcentre Plus in each of the most recent 12 months for which data are available.
3 October 2019
Jobcentres do not refer claimants to food banks or issue food bank vouchers. The Department has long-standing guidance in place which allows staff to signpost customers in writing to a food bank where they have asked for details, and if all sources of statutory support have been exhausted. Jobcentre Plus staff are not required to keep records of the number of benefit claimants signposted to food banks in their local area, and we have no current plans to develop official national statistics on food bank use.