Demand for emergency food supplies in Harrow has increased by almost a quarter, according to new figures.

New findings by the Trussell Trust, which runs many food banks, reveal that 2,617 three-day emergency food supplies were given out in Harrow between April 2018 and March 2019.

It signifies a 24 per cent increase in only one year.

In light of the findings, Navin Shah AM, London Assembly Member for Harrow and Brent, branded the increase as “scandalous”.

He said: “Whilst the Government is well aware of the key factors that are driving so many local families into food poverty, they are choosing not to act.

“It is scandalous that we are continuing to see a growing dependence on food banks in our community.

“Instead, they are shamefully passing on their duty of care to most vulnerable in society onto charities and a beleaguered public sector.”

Mr Shah AM also called on the Government for the new figures to serve as a “wake-up call”.

He added: “Sadly, these figures are likely to be just the tip of the iceberg, but they should provide a wakeup call for the Government.

“They must now urgently step in to address the issue of low pay and fully confront the consequences of their disastrous welfare reforms.”

It was found that over a million three-day emergency supplies were provided to people in crisis by food banks in the Trussell Trust Network.

In London alone, a total of 166,512 three-day emergency food supplies were provided – with Newham seeing the largest increase of 159 per cent between 2017 and 2018.

Hillingdon and Ealing also saw a large increase of 105 per cent.

Responding to the new figures, Harrow Food Bank said: “Obviously we are not happy because there shouldn’t be so many people needing to use food banks.

“We are working on a five-year plan at the moment.”

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, added: “Ultimately, it’s unacceptable that anyone should have to use a food bank in the first place.

“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.”