During the last two weeks of March, food banks in our network reported a shocking 81% increase in need compared to the same period last year – that’s 6,250 food parcels each day, with 3,000 provided for children.
This isn’t right. With a coalition of anti-poverty charities, we’re calling on the government to create a Coronavirus Emergency Income Support Scheme – and in the past fortnight over 2,000 of you have emailed your MP to let them know you agree.
This amazing support is making a real difference, and it’s vital that we don’t stop now.
We’re all facing the same storm, but we aren’t all in the same boat.
Although the government has introduced a series of helpful measures like the Coronavirus Jobs Retention scheme, we need them to build on these foundations and act quickly to make sure everyone can stay afloat.
We need them to make sure councils can support their communities, increase benefits for families, lift the benefit cap and two-child limit, and suspend repayments of Universal Credit advances. We need them to do the right thing.
Last week, Boris Johnson said that the UK could come out of this crisis “stronger and better” than before, “more generous and sharing.” If that’s going to become a reality, the government needs to act now – and so do we.
If we keep building the pressure, together we know this can change.
In the last few months, we’ve all been hit by something outside our control. As the coronavirus pandemic has swept in, its impact has been felt by all of us, in many different ways.
More and more of us are facing financial insecurity, a loss of control, an uncertainty over what our futures might look like.
But while we’re all being hit by the same storm, we’re not all in the same boat. For some, this sweeping lack of control is new and unsettling. For some, this will be a one-off occurrence from which they’ll recover. But for people living in poverty, this feeling isn’t new. It’s all too familiar.
Feeling trapped, facing limited options, and being let down by systems designed to provide support is the norm for millions of people every day.
In the first two weeks of the pandemic, food banks in our network reported an 81% increase in need compared to the same period last year – that’s more than 6,250 food parcels every day, with close to 3,000 of these for children. And as the outbreak continues to develop, it’s likely that more and more people are going to need to use a food bank.
This simply isn’t right.
Recent weeks have shown us how quickly things can change – and how important it is that we hold on to the knowledge that we have the power to drive this change.
No one in the UK should be pushed to a food bank. We’re urging the government to create a Coronavirus Emergency Income Support scheme now to make sure everyone has enough money for the basics, as well as stepping up our work towards a future where food banks are no longer needed.
Poverty isn’t inevitable. People needing food banks isn’t inevitable. And people needing food banks as a result of the coronavirus outbreak isn’t inevitable. We’ve seen the changes our government can make to protect us. We’ve seen the good that happens when we act with justice and compassion to support one another.
Now is the time to build on those foundations. We can fix the structural issues that are locking people in poverty like insecure work, low pay, or problems with the benefits system. The food banks in our network and their incredible volunteers do amazing work, day in, day out. But that work shouldn’t be needed.
Together, we will recover from this pandemic. Together, we can create an even stronger, just society. Together, we know this can change.
If you want to help create a future without the need for food banks, find out more about how you can get involved here.
The post Food banks matter now more than ever – but we have the power to create change appeared first on The Trussell Trust.
In early April, Centrica and British Gas began working with the Trussell Trust to support food banks during the current coronavirus pandemic. As British Gas engineers and colleagues are currently only attending emergency and essential visits in these challenging times and a number of staff are on furlough, the company has encouraged its employees to volunteer with the Trussell Trust and offer support to food banks. You can find out more about the partnership here.
Since then, thousands of British Gas and Centrica employees have got involved and are making a real difference in their local communities by helping food banks deliver emergency supplies to people’s homes, collect and transport food donations, and sort food safely in food bank warehouses. Employees are also embracing this role at home, setting up home donation stations, buying donations for food banks when doing their own shopping, raising funds and spreading the word on social media about the work of the Trussell Trust.
Across the country, food banks have been getting in touch to let us know how they have benefitted from the partnership and to thank British Gas volunteers for their invaluable support.
“We’ve just started delivering so it’s early days, but the British Gas guys have been amazing. It’s such a massive help having them available to do this and we can’t thank them enough.”
“We are very grateful for their help, and without them our deliveries would be a lot more time consuming and logistically challenging.”
“The engineers have been brilliant for us. I’ve been very impressed.”
Leicester South Foodbank
“We are extremely grateful to British Gas who are providing an outstanding service delivering food parcels to vulnerable and shielding residents as well as delivering stocks to our food bank centres.”
“The drivers have been confident, compassionate and happy to just get stuck in.”
“The delivery went like clockwork and the volunteer from British Gas was a diamond.”
Being able to deliver food bank parcels to people’s homes is hugely important in ensuring everyone’s safety, but it’s a big change to the way food banks normally work. Furthermore, dealing with a huge increase in need, many food banks have faced real challenges in obtaining sufficient food donations and have relied on generous bulk supplies of food from Tesco which have been transported by British Gas employees up and down the country. The resilience and flexibility of food banks in the face of the current outbreak has been amazing, and the support of organisations like British Gas has been vital in helping food banks to adapt and innovate. We’re so grateful to British Gas and all those who have volunteered for their support, which is having a real impact on local communities.
The post British Gas support is making a real difference in local communities appeared first on The Trussell Trust.