The Guardian

The Department for Work and Pensions is advising jobcentres on how to send people to food banks, official documents show – despite ministers’ claiming the charitable support forms no part of the welfare system.

Ministers insist jobcentres “do not refer people to food banks or issue vouchers” and that food banks are “absolutely not a part of the welfare system because we have other means of supporting people”. They say jobcentres only “signpost” the existence of food banks and dispute the link between welfare changes and a surge in their use.

However, documents obtained under freedom of information laws show there is a “high level process” written by the DWP to be followed when benefit claimants say they are in hardship because of government policy and need food.

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