FOOD banks have become a hot topic during the general election campaign.

After a question on the issue was asked at Tuesday night's Prudhoe hustings, here are the answers from each candidate in full.

Question: Good evening. If your party forms the next government, how are you going to support families in your constituency that continuously use food banks?

Nick Morphet (Green Party): "We will fight poverty by rolling out the Universal Basic Income, which will provide everyone with £89 per week on a non means-tested basis. It will raise people out of poverty and it'll give people freedom to take time off to do things they want to do."

Penny Grennan (Labour): "Right. The fact that food banks are a normal part of our society is shameful.

"We are the fifth wealthiest nation in the world, and we have people, in fact, who cannot feed their families, who are in work. So there's critical things that have to be done. We have to scrap Universal Credit, that actually keeps people in poverty, and they end up using food banks, because it is punitive, unfair, and a disgrace actually.

"We have to stop in-work poverty by guaranteeing a real Living Wage, getting rid of zero-hour contracts, stop the instability in the workplace that is happening and affecting everybody's lives.

40 per cent of the food bank users in this constituency are working. I think we need too reflect on that. If we'd had a disaster, then a food bank would be perfectly acceptable. But as a normal way of life is a disgrace, and we've got to look at changing the system."

Guy Opperman (Conservative): "So, without a shadow of a doubt, raise the minimum wage. It's £8.21, it needs to go up to £10.50.

"Secondly, reduce any tax. We've raised the tax threshold. Needs to go higher, so that we don't take tax out of any earnings taken.

"Thirdly, improve childcare. We've introduced the 15 and 30 hours childcare which is worth several thousand pounds but it's going to be enhanced and there's ways forward to do that.

"Fourthly, make sure that there are greater opportunities for employment so that there is better skills going forward.

"And I suppose fifthly, which is a much more nuanced answer is this. You will not improve the long term capability of handling finances, without better financial education from primary school upwards. We introduced financial education and capability in secondary school, but we must get better at handling money."

Stephen Howse (Liberal Democrats): "Better financial education is also in the Liberal Democrat manifesto I have to say, but a child knows that when you have no money, you have no money.

"One in four children in this constituency is living in poverty. 25% that has gone up 7 percentage points year on year. That is absolutely disgraceful. It is one of the 28 highest rises in any parliamentary constituency in the entire country.

"The Liberal Democrats, in our manifesto, have a plan, which goes further than the other parties. We will take 600,000 children out of poverty by the end of this parliament. That is more than any other party according to the non-partisan think-tank, the Resolution Foundation.

"We will reverse the benefit cuts in full that have been introduced over the last few years. We will get rid of the bedroom tax, which we brought in in coalition - or helped to bring in - but we stand up and say now that we were wrong to do that and stop doing that. And we will make Universal Credit actually work for people. It is so punitive at the moment, making people wait for 5 weeks when they're already out of work, and already struggling on the breadline. We will reduce that to 5 days.

"And finally, as Nick says, thinking longer term. We will also look to pilot a universal basic income so that nobody in our society has to go hungry."