To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her Department's policy to refer claimants of universal credit to foodbanks.
The Government spends over £90 billion a year on welfare benefits for people of working age, to ensure a strong safety net for those who need it. This includes a well-established system of hardship payments and benefit advances. We have also introduced a range of measures to help put more money in claimant’s pockets quicker, such as removing waiting days and, from July 2020, introducing a new two-week run on for income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Jobcentre managers have discretion to work with a wide range of external partners, including food banks, where they are invited to do so. And there are established arrangements in place which allow local staff to signpost a customer to a foodbank where a customer has expressed an interest in using one, but will only do so once they have exhausted all other routes of support.