MORE children in North Ayrshire are living in food poverty, according to new statistics.

New figures released by foodbank charity The Trussell Trust show a sharp increase in the number of food parcels given to children in the local authority in 2023 compared to previous years.

This news comes as winter is approaching and the cost-of-living crisis continues. It means that many families will be forced to choose between food and heating - a decision no one should have to make.

From April 2022 until March 2023, the Trussell Trust handed out 1,350 food parcels to children from their 11 distribution centres across North Ayrshire.

This figure has increased by a quarter since last year when only 864 food parcels were distributed.

However, between 2019- 2020 the highest number of food parcels handed out to children in North Ayrshire was a staggering 2,465.

Adults in the local area have also been quite clearly affected by the food poverty crisis, as the Trussell Trust gave out 3,899 food parcels this year compared to 2,116 last year.

This figure is a dramatic decrease since 2017-18, a year which saw 5,002 adult food parcels given out.

Furthermore, food banks have given out a record 1.5 million emergency parcels in a six-month period, including for tens of thousands of first-time users.

The Trussell Trust charity’s UK-wide network of food banks said 65 per cent of all the parcels dispatched between April and September this year were for families with children.

The charity also said 320,000 people have needed to use a food bank for the first time in the past six months, as the organisation warned food banks “are at breaking point as more and more people in communities across the UK find themselves unable afford the essentials”.

Take a look at the searchable table below to see how North Ayrshire compares to other areas across the country.

The Trussell Trust has been approached for comment.