A HUGE rise in the number of people in the North-East turning to foodbanks has been branded 'shocking but not unsurprising.'

Foodbank operator the Trussel Trust reported a 463 per cent increase in users across the region, claiming 900,000 people used the service.

Tom Blenkinsop, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: “Difficulty making ends meet has been compounded by shambolic welfare reforms and this is something anti-poverty campaigners have highlighted as a major cause for this explosion in numbers of people having to turn to foodbanks.

“I’ve been well aware of this growing crisis for the past few years and I’ve taken various actions to try and help, such as urging supermarkets to develop an online tool to allow shoppers to easily donate online; helping out local foodbanks across Teesside and setting up a collection point in my Constituency office in Guisborough.”

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