THE Labour candidate for the City of Chester has highlighted the plight of people in poverty needing foodbanks to survive.

Chris Matheson, who has been MP since 2015, recently took part in a collection day for West Cheshire Foodbank which provides emergency food and support to local people in crisis.

Last year, a record 1.6 million emergency food parcels were distributed by The Trussell Trust in the UK.

Mr Matheson has redoubled this criticism of the Government’s record on poverty following his visit to the foodbank this week.

Mr Matheson said “I spoke to a lady who had just £5 to her name after her Universal Credit had not been paid.

"Her biggest worry was how she was going to feed her young children.

"No-one in our community should be going hungry. It doesn’t have to be like this.”

Mr Matheson has worked closely with the West Cheshire Foodbank over the last four years, helping to raise awareness about the rising levels of poverty across Chester.

The foodbank has seen a huge increase in the number of people relying on their services.

Mr Matheson said: “It is time for change. We live in a society where people struggle to eat, because they cannot afford food, while the richest 1,000 people increased their wealth by £66 billion in the past year alone.

“Perhaps more shockingly, there has been a threefold increase in hospital admissions for malnutrition since 2009. For too many people, hunger is an everyday reality, causing significant health problems.

"Yet the Tories continue to press ahead with crippling austerity, driving yet more people into poverty and foodbank usage.

“We need to end the use of foodbanks altogether by creating a benefits system that provides the support needed when people fall on hard times, preventing people from falling into poverty through no fault of their own.

“I will continue to fight to eliminate the need for food banks entirely by increasing the living wage and ensuring that people receive the adequate benefits when they need them."