Support from Papa John’s reaches £500,000

25 Feb

In April 2020, we launched a new partnership with Papa John’s and we’re thrilled to announce that their support has now raised an incredible £500,000.

By fundraising on their website for us throughout 2020, Papa John’s have been able to help us make sure food banks can continue to provide emergency support in their communities, as well as work towards building a better future – one where no one need to turn to charity to get by.

At Christmas, Papa John’s ran a stripped back advertising campaign and donated the extra money they would normally have spent on festive creative to us and Crisis. They also donated 50p for every festive meal deal sold, featured customer donation buttons at checkout, and provided dedicated advertising space on their website.

Thanks to the support of customers, the money raised during the Christmas campaign helped to bring the total amount generated through Papa John’s support for the Trussell Trust up to over £500,000!

Head of Corporate Partnerships, Sophie Carre, says:

“Our partnership with Papa John’s and their incredible support means we can continue to respond to the changing situation and ensure food banks continue to provide the lifeline of emergency food and additional support for thousands of people in crisis. It also allows us to move forward with our work to tackle the root causes of poverty and campaign for long-term change. Our goal is ambitious, and this support means we can work together for real, long-term change to create a better future.”

And Papa John’s say:

We have been really pleased with the amount we have been able to raise with the help and support of our generous customers. The Trussell Trust is a fantastic charity who we are proud to work with.

It’s time to build a better future, and we’re so grateful to have partners like Papa John’s standing alongside us and people facing hunger to create change. We look forward to seeing what the partnership brings in 2021!

 

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The real impact of removing the Universal Credit uplift

8 Feb

“I simply don’t know how I’d manage without it” – people share their experiences of the £20 uplift and the risks of taking it away.

By Emily Spoor, Research Officer

 

In April 2020, as the UK was hit by the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK Government made the crucial step of increasing the Universal Credit Standard Allowance and Working Tax Credit by £20 per week – worth more than £1,000 a year to a household. This decision has offered people dignity during the crisis and prevented tens of thousands from needing to seek help to feed themselves and their family.

Our new research, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Trussell Trust, shows that the uplift has provided vital breathing space to hard-pressed budgets, with seven in ten (72%) people on Universal Credit since early 2020 saying the increase has made it easier to afford essentials. The risks of removing the uplift are also clear, as one in five people we surveyed think it’s very likely they’ll need support from a food bank if the removal goes ahead as planned.

Here, we explore people’s experiences of the uplift in their own words, as well as their thoughts and fears about a future without it.

 

The uplift means people don’t have to go without essentials.

The most common experience people shared with us was that the uplift allowed them to reliably afford basics, without, for example, having to go without food or ration the amount of time the heating was on. Having to go without essentials had been a common experience for people before the uplift.

“[The uplift] has made it possible to survive. Without it I could not afford heating or electricity.”

“I am a teacher and a single parent… The increase has meant that I can get food for the 4th week in a month.”

Several people explained that the increase meant they no longer needed to make impossible choices about what to go without, such as between eating enough and staying warm, or cutting down on food to afford a crucial, less frequent, purchase like shoes or a coat.

“An additional £80 a month is… the difference between being able to eat and having to choose between heating and food.”

 “I haven’t had to choose between buying some food or a new pair of shoes because mine have got a hole in… I’ve been able to buy both!”

 

The uplift provides financial and mental breathing space, giving a route out of day-to-day survival and hope for the future.

Many people explained that the uplift allowed them to reduce – or even end – the need to rely on debt to cover daily costs. This has a practical and a mental health benefit, as debt repayments and overdraft costs further reduce the amount available to spend on essentials in the future and the feeling of spiralling can cause intense stress and anxiety.

“It’s made a difference in paying bills. I fell in arrears with a few utilities and it’s helping me get back on track.”

“[The uplift has made] a big difference. It meant my payment was bigger than my overdraft limit, so it would definitely get paid off every month.”

Another common experience of the uplift that people shared was the positive impact on their mental and physical health. From a parent being able to afford fresh food for their children to a cancer patient being able to keep the heating on, it was clear the uplift gave people the option of looking after their and their families’ physical health rather than being forced to settle for less.

“[The uplift] has enabled me to eat better. Before the increase I wasn’t able to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, because they were an extra I just could not afford.”

Improved mental health was also mentioned by many: both the absence of negative factors such as stress and anxiety, and actively positive changes such as increased self-worth. People told us that, as the uplift made it easier for people to afford all their essentials, their stress about what they might have to cut back on and how they’d manage to make ends meet was reduced.

“Less stress, money to pay for petrol, better food, less yellow tab food… better mental health, better physical health.”

“It makes me less stressed about the months end when I have to pay for the rent and all the bills. Every little extra helps.”

Several people explained that being able to afford to “contribute” by looking after their family was also hugely beneficial for their mental health. One person was able to save up and buy their family some Christmas presents, while another had been able to pay a monthly amount for a laptop for their son, allowing him to do his schoolwork properly from home.

 “[The uplift has made] an absolutely massive amount of difference both financially and mentally. I’ve been able to contribute more to the household, making me feel more comfortable and worthy of living.”

 

Without the uplift, people will be forced to go without essentials again and find it harder to get back on their feet.

Since these positive impacts have come as a direct result of the £20 uplift, it’s unsurprising that when asked about its removal people told us these improvements to their lives would be reversed. Many people told us that without the uplift they’d be forced into debt to cover the cost of essentials or would be forced to go without again. This is unacceptable – no one should have to go without food, heating or other basics because their benefit income is too low.

“I already have to make choices about what to spend my money [on] and am juggling debts, fuel costs and buying food and essentials. With a retraction of the extra £20, I know I would face hardship, in keeping warm, feeding myself and paying off my credit card (which I used for car repairs)”

Fear and hopelessness about a future of having to manage on less were also common experiences. The prospect of hunger and cold and mounting debts, and fears about eviction or being unable to look after family members, meant the future looked bleak for many.

“Even the thought of my losing this £20 a week brings me close to tears.”

Several people explained that losing the uplift would knock them back, making it harder for them to find work or be financially independent from family. These things contributed to a feeling of hopelessness – it was difficult to see how things might improve for them without the small amount of breathing space the uplift had provided.

“[Losing the uplift would mean] complete loss of all independence and dignity as I’d be dependent on my brother for financial help. It’s humiliating… I will steadily slip further into debt.”

“I’ve been saving for new “work” shoes that are going to last. The retraction of £20 per week would mean I’d have to use that small amount of savings for essentials and continue not applying to jobs that need proper equipment.”

 

The government must continue to protect the millions of people who receive Universal Credit – and the many more who’ll depend on it as the economic consequences of the pandemic play out.

It’s clear that the level of benefits was not adequate going into the pandemic, and that the uplift has been an important lifeline. People’s experiences clearly show that keeping the Universal Credit uplift and extending this lifeline to legacy benefits is the right thing to do – and would help us take a big step towards a hunger free future.

 

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The Trussell Trust and Bank of America form partnership to support people in crisis.

5 Feb

The Trussell Trust and Bank of America form partnership to support people in crisis. Working to create a hunger free future for all.

Today, the Trussell Trust and Bank of America have entered a partnership as food banks in the charity’s network experience a huge rise in need through the pandemic.

Food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network saw a 47% increase in need during the first six months of the pandemic, with 1.2m emergency food parcels provided to people in crisis between April and September 2020 alone. There has been a huge increase in emergency food going to children, with 2,600 food parcels going to children across the UK every day.

Bank of America will help people in crisis by supporting the Trussell Trust’s network of food banks through grants and operations support. It will also help people in crisis access advice to help them out of hardship through a freephone helpline. Bank of America employees will also support with raising funds and sharing their skills and expertise with the organisation.

Bank of America firmly supports the Trussell Trust’s long-term vision of a UK without the need for food banks and is working alongside them to campaign for a hunger free future.

Emma Revie, chief executive at the Trussell Trust said: “As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we’re working closely with food banks to support them to continue providing vital emergency food to people who can’t afford the essentials.

“Everyone should be able to afford their own food, but right now more people than ever are likely to need a food bank’s help. This partnership will help us support food banks to provide emergency food and practical support to people in crisis, while also working towards our long-term vision of a hunger free future. We’re so grateful to Bank of America for their support.”

Andrea Sullivan, International Executive for Environment, Social and Governance at Bank of America said: “In these challenging times we are committed to working with partners like The Trussell Trust to offer vital financial support in tackling the rise of food poverty across the UK. This partnership will not only provide essential food parcels, but will also fund a dedicated helpline offering access to social support. In addition, through our employees’ time and assistance, we hope to further advance the important work of The Trussell Trust.”

ENDS

 

Contact 

Contact the Trussell Trust Press Office at 020 3137 3699 or press@trusselltrust.org .

 

About the Trussell Trust:

  • We’re here to end the need for food banks in UK.
  • We support a UK-wide network of more than 1,300 food bank centres and together we provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK.
  • Our most recent figures for the number of emergency food supplies provided by our network: trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/.
  • The Trussell Trust’s food bank network brings together volunteers, staff and supporters of all faiths and none to make a difference. Local churches play a vital part in this work, with around 12,000 churches actively involved in donating food, and providing venues, volunteers and financial support for food banks.
  • You can read more about our work at trusselltrust.org .

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Removing the Universal Credit uplift will put millions at risk of hunger

4 Feb

Removing the uplift to Universal Credit will put millions at risk of hunger – the UK Government must do the right thing.

We are coming through one of the most testing winters in our modern history. With the vaccine roll-out developing at a pace, and the days getting longer, there are reasons to muster optimism. But one look at the jobless figures will bring anyone firmly down to earth. 

Six million people are currently claiming Universal Credit. As the furlough scheme winds down from the Spring, that number is set to rise even further. The Office for Budget Responsibility does not expect unemployment to fall to pre-crisis levels until 2024. At the same time, need for food banks has hit record levels and shows few signs of waning. 

It is in this context that the government is currently making a decision that will affect the lives of the millions who have struggled the most in our dark winter – whether or not to push ahead with a £20 cut in the Universal Credit standard allowance this spring.  

It is a sad fact – all too familiar to anyone who has been near a food bank – that our benefits system for too long has simply not given people enough money to afford the essentials in life. This reality was rightly recognised by the government last spring, when they acted decisively to uplift Universal Credit by £20 a week. That doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re on the breadline it is a life saver. We know that it has been the difference between many people needing to turn to a food bank and staying afloat. 

But this lifeline is at risk. Unless action is taken, the uplift is set to be whipped away in April, at the same time as support from furlough will wind down. The results could be little short of devastating. 

In our survey of people currently receiving Universal Credit, the consequences of this political choice come through starkly. As many as 20% of people claiming Universal Credit, representing 1.2 million people, say that they are ‘very likely’ to need to use a food bank if the £20 uplift is removed. Many more fear they will go hungry.  Four in ten (41%) say they are ‘very likely’ to have to cut back on food for themselves, representing over 2.4 million people.  These numbers make any cut – at a time of already record hardship – unconscionable. 

Children will suffer too. We know that parents would do almost anything before cutting back on food for their children, yet a quarter of a million families fear this will be the result if the uplift is ended. The evidence is clear  going ahead with the reduction would represent a betrayal of the Prime Minister’s welcome commitment that ‘no child will go hungry as a result of any government inattention’.  

There has been important recognition in recent weeks of this looming cliff edge, and other short-term policy fixes have been mooted. But these do not address the fundamental problem – before the crisis, following years of cuts and freezes, working age benefits simply did not give people enough money to afford the essentials.  This was a significant factor in why we saw food bank use rise year-on-year before the pandemic. We cannot return to that, not least in a period when unemployment will be at record levels and the challenges of finding work much greater as a result. This is an important moment to invest in the government’s flagship Universal Credit system, and help make it the poverty fighting machine we know it can be. 

There is a clear economic case for keeping the lifeline too. As our research shows, families don’t have enough financial resilience to save their extra £20 – they have to spend it in the real economy. It is not just food they will cut back on if it goes, but clothing, heating and other vital essentials. Given this money disproportionately goes to the poorest communities in the UK, this would remove a significant amount of demand from fragile local economies at the very time when spending is desperately needed to propel growth. As a result, not only will whipping it away deprive these families of the essentials, it will undermine economic recovery and the ‘levelling up’ agenda in our poorest communities. 

At the budget in just a few weeks’ time, Rishi Sunak has a choice to make. Do we give people the dignity and means to afford essentials, taking a vital step towards a hunger free future, or do we accept widespread modern-day destitution and ever rising need for food banks? The evidence is in, the uplift has been a lifeline. It must be kept. 

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Our new report calls for the £20 Universal Credit uplift to be extended

4 Feb

Nearly a quarter of a million parents on Universal Credit fear not being able to properly feed their children if cut to benefit goes ahead, according to new report.

 The report from the Trussell Trust warns of growing need for food banks from people claiming Universal Credit as one in five people on the benefit say that they are ‘very likely’ to turn to one, if the £20 rise is removed.

The Trussell Trust is urgently calling on the government to keep the £20 weekly uplift to Universal Credit due to end in April, as a survey reveals the alarming consequences of cutting it.

When the pandemic first hit, the government increased Universal Credit payments by £20 each week which the charity says has prevented tens of thousands of people from needing to use a food bank.

But new research conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Trussell Trust finds 41% of people claiming Universal Credit – representing more than 2.4m people across the UK – fear they will be very likely to cut back on food for themselves if the planned cut goes ahead in April.

Worryingly, 13% of parents surveyed – representing more than 220,000 families – think they would be very likely to cut back on food for their children, meaning they simply would not have enough money to cover the basics.

The report forecasts an increase in the need for food banks amongst people claiming Universal Credit with 20% of people on Universal Credit -representing 1.2 million people – saying they would ‘very likely’ turn to a food bank for help with £20 less a week.

This comes on top of record levels of need experienced at food banks throughout the charity’s network during the pandemic, with huge increases in emergency food going to children. Further, it says these figures are just the tip of the iceberg, as many people will have been helped by other community groups.

The charity says this is about more than food with millions of people set to struggle to pay for clothing and to heat their homes and many saying they will be plunged into debt as a result of the cut.

With just weeks to go until the reduction is due, the charity insists this situation can be turned around. The report shows how the uplift provided welcome relief to hard-pressed budgets, with seven in 10 (72%) people claiming Universal Credit since early 2020 saying it has made buying essentials easier.

The charity joins many other organisations in urging the government to make the uplift permanent, or maintain it for one year at the very least, as well as extend it to people on legacy benefits who were denied the uplift last year. It adds that only by keeping this lifeline in the longer-term will it be possible to work towards creating a hunger free future.

Emma Revie, chief executive at the Trussell Trust, said:

“The £20 increase to Universal Credit introduced at the start of the pandemic has been vital in protecting tens of thousands of people from being swept into serious financial hardship. This survey reveals the shocking consequences of what lies ahead if this lifeline is cut in April. This isn’t right. No one should have to suffer the indignity of relying on emergency food.  It’s clear that action is needed to ensure our benefits system provides people with enough money to cover the essentials. That’s why we’re insisting the government turns this situation around. Keeping the £20 Universal Credit uplift, and extending it to legacy benefits, will provide an anchor from poverty for people who need it most.

The government should continue to do the right thing and keep this lifeline. It is a crucial step in moving towards a hunger free future for the UK.”

ENDS

 

Contact 

Contact the Trussell Trust Press Office at 020 3137 3699 or press@trusselltrust.org 

 

Notes to editors

  1. The research is based on an online survey by YouGov of 1,000 people currently claiming Universal Credit. People were surveyed between 19 to 25 January 2021.
  2. The figures have been weighted to be representative of people claiming Universal Credit. All weighting data provided by the Trussell Trust from Stat-Xplore.
  3. Estimates of the number of people are the Trussell Trust’s own analysis. They are calculated by taking the number of people aged 16+ claiming Universal Credit in December 2020 and multiplying by the survey results. These figures do not include children.
  4. The total number of people aged 16+ in Great Britain claiming Universal Credit in December 2020 was 5,912,000.
  5. Family estimates are based on the number of households claiming Universal Credit with dependent children in August 2020.
  6. The total number of households with dependent children in Great Britain, claiming Universal Credit in August 2020 was 1,721,000.
  7. Only people currently claiming Universal Credit, who were also claiming before April 2020, were asked whether it had made buying the essentials easier.
  8. Estimates of the number of people precented from needing to use a food bank because of the uplift are taken from our Lockdown Lifelines report published in September 2020.

 

Survey results and question wording

As a reminder, the UK Government is currently debating whether the £20 a week increase to Universal Credit standard allowance should end from April 2021.

Thinking about your current financial situation, please imagine that the £20 a week increase were to end. How likely or unlikely is it that you would do each of the following in the future as a direct result of this?

% who say ‘Very likely’ Population estimates
Cut back on clothing for myself 63 3,725,000 adults on UC
Cut back on food for myself 41 2,420,000 adults on UC
Fall behind on your housing costs (e.g. rent, mortgage payments etc.) 19 1,120,000 adults on UC
Cut back on heating your home 36 2,100,000 adults on UC
Seek support from a food bank 20 1,180,000 adults on UC
Cut back on food for my children 13 224,000 families on UC

 

About the Trussell Trust:

  • We’re here to end the need for food banks in UK.
  • We support a UK-wide network of more than 1,300 food bank centres and together we provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK.
  • Our most recent figures for the number of emergency food supplies provided by our network: trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/
  • The Trussell Trust’s food bank network brings together volunteers, staff, and supporters of all faiths and none to make a difference. Local churches play a vital part in this work, with around 12,000 churches actively involved in donating food, and providing venues, volunteers, and financial support for food banks.
  • You can read more about our work at trusselltrust.org.

 

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Hunger Free Future: the campaign so far

18 Jan

In November 2020, we launched an ambitious campaign to create change – to build a movement of people who will work alongside the Trussell Trust to create a hunger free future.

In the first six months of the pandemic, food banks in the Trussell Trust network gave out a staggering 1.2 million emergency food parcels. That’s one food parcel every 13 seconds, and 2,600 of these went to children every day on average.

Over the past year, we’ve all made incredible changes to the ways we live, work, and look after each other. And in the past few months, we’ve seen amazing compassion and concern for families, children, and people in crisis – with food banks, community groups, and others stepping up to help.

But this kind of help shouldn’t be needed. This isn’t right and as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to unfold, we need change now more than ever. That’s why we’re calling for a hunger free future, and asking people just like you to stand with us and create a different future.

Since Hunger Free Future began, more than 80,000 of you have pledged your voice – thank you! And we’ve raised a fantastic £4 million from our generous supporters, which will help us and our Foodbank Network work towards a future where food banks are no longer needed.

Communities like these in Nottinghamshire have shown us the amazing things we can achieve together. And while food banks work hard to cope with increased need in their areas, they’re also working to create long-term change.

Thanks to supporters like you, we’re making a real difference as we move towards a hunger free future. We know it isn’t right that anyone should need to use a food bank, and we know that tens of thousands of you agree. Looking at what we’ve achieved in just a few months, with so many of you raising your hands to demand fundamental change, both locally and nationally, we know that this year change is possible.

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We need Government action to avoid record need for food banks this winter

2 Oct

By Rory Weal, Policy & Public Affairs Manager

We can avoid the prospect of record need for food banks this winter – but only if the Government acts now.

Last week the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, unveiled his ‘Winter Economy Plan’, designed to prepared the economy for the coming economic storm. This mini budget announced a range of measures, including a replacement for the furlough scheme – a new ‘jobs support scheme’ to subsidise the wages of people in work. Clearly, this is needed and welcome. But it begs the question – what about the millions of people who have already lost work or will do so over the coming months?

Food banks in the Trussell Trust network are seeing first-hand the impact the crisis is having on people in this position. Unfortunately, without further action it is set to get worse before it gets better. Last month we published projections which forecast there will be a 61% rise in need for food banks over the winter compared to the same period last year. Based on an initial assessment by Heriot-Watt University, the latest steps announced by the Chancellor are not enough to alter this forecast. This leaves food banks in the Trussell Trust network faced with the huge task of giving out six food parcels every minute over the winter.

This isn’t right. No one should be need to use a food bank. Many of these people are likely to be using a food bank for the first time, and they are also more likely to be facing additional challenges. Our recent survey findings show almost three quarters of those who used a Trussell Trust food bank during the summer reported they or someone they lived with having a mental health problem, up from half before the pandemic. We are all living with the uncertainty of what the future holds, but for those needing to use food banks that burden weighs particularly heavy.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. There is still time for the Government to make the changes necessary to stop people being swept into poverty. We have recently provided a submission to the Treasury on the steps the Government should take to avert hardship now and in the coming months, which you can read in full here. As we face the prospect of a second wave of Covid-19, we need to draw on the determination we saw back in March and April to provide people with the lifelines they need to weather this economic storm. This means ensuring everyone has the money they need for the essentials, so that no one needs to use a food bank.

Our proposals are built on measures already taken by the Government – measures which can be implemented quickly and will make a real difference. Our three proposals are:

  • Protect people’s incomes by locking in the £20 uplift to Universal Credit and extending to legacy benefits. Our recent research shows removing the £20 uplift next spring would lead to a 10% rise in need for food banks. The uplift must be locked in as soon as possible, and extended to legacy benefits such as Employment Support Allowance.
  • Help people hold on to more of their benefits by suspending benefit debt deductions. This was done swiftly for some deductions back in April and needs to be repeated now. This time, Advance Payments must be included in the suspension, as our survey data shows three quarters of people arriving at food banks on Universal Credit are repaying advances to cover the five-week wait.
  • Make local safety nets as strong as possible by investing £250 million in local welfare assistance in England. Local welfare administered by councils can provide a lifeline for those who fall through the gaps in national provision. The Government invested £63 million in this provision in the summer, but the funding is set to end later this month. As we enter a phase of local lockdowns, this flexible provision to provide cash grants and in-kind benefits is needed now more than ever.

We know these measures can be introduced swiftly, as they have been done before. We can still avoid a huge rise in need for food banks this winter – but only if we see fast action from the Government to provide the lifelines we all need.

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Innovation and invention for a different future

29 Sep

Dave Massey, Head of Strategic Intelligence

The problem of poverty is growing here in the UK, and as the Covid-19 pandemic continues more and more people are struggling to afford the essentials. As our statistics show, the number of emergency food parcels distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust network rose almost 20% last year.

And as the impact of the pandemic began to be felt across the UK in April, need was a shocking 89% higher than the same period in 2019. Our latest research forecasts that this winter food banks in our network will give out six emergency food parcels every minute – a staggering 61% increase on last year.

This isn’t right. It is a huge concern for us and for food banks up and down the country, and should be a huge concern to everyone in the UK.

Food banks work tirelessly to support people in crisis, not only by providing them with emergency food supplies, but also by signposting them to other organisations who can help them work through other issues (for example, by offering debt management support). We will continue to support food banks to do this vital work in the short term, but ultimately this work shouldn’t be needed at all. No one should be forced to use a food bank because they can’t afford the essentials.

That’s why we’re also working to bring about a future in the UK where food banks are no longer needed. This is an ambitious goal, particularly as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect us all, but we know that change is possible.

Together, we are powerful and we can drive real change. We are working in partnership with many organisations to create the future we wish to see. Today, we’re excited to be partnering with the IBM IXM Programme at a hackathon focused on food poverty run by University College London. The IXN Programme brings industry and academia together to address the world’s most pressing challenges and offers a rapid route to innovation.

Students will be invited to put forward solutions to improve food bank operations here and now, consider how technoology could unblock the unintended barriers that our ‘digital first’ society places on many people, understand what is happening now and predict what will happen in the future around food bank use, and engage the public in new and innovative ways to help everyone understand the problem of poverty.

To create a UK without the need for food banks will require a combination of creativity, imagination, complete understanding of the whole problem, and technical expertise – as well as innovation and invention. We are excited to see whaht the students come up with!

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New report reveals how coronavirus has affected food bank use

14 Sep

New research shows food banks are forecast to give out six emergency food parcels a minute this winter.

  • The Trussell Trust’s new analysis forecasts a 61% increase in food parcels needed across its UK network in October to December – six parcels given out every minute
  • During the start of the pandemic around half of people who used a food bank had never needed one before
  • Families with children have been hardest hit
  • The charity is clear the situation can be turned around if this evidence is prioritised and acted upon by government during the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review and budget

Today the Trussell Trust has released a report Lockdown, Lifelines and the Long Haul Ahead revealing how coronavirus has affected food bank use, with a huge rise in people needing to usa food bank in its network for the first time. The Trussell Trust’s records also show that families with children are being hit the hardest during the crisis. 

Analysis carried out by Heriot-Watt University with support from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research estimates that if changes aren’t made this autumn, there is likely to be a 61% rise in need at food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network this winter, equating to 846,000 food parcels being given out. 

The charity warns that with mass unemployment predicted on a scale not seen since the early ninetiesthere will be further rises in poverty with 670,000 additional people classed as destitute by the end of 2020, meaning they cannot afford essentials like housing, energy and food. This is otop of year-on-year rises in the number of people unable to afford food and forced to food banks across the UK 

But the situation can be turned around, the charity saysThe government response to protect jobs and incomes during this pandemic has shown what a difference can be made when support structures are put in place. The much-needed rises to some benefit levels and the job retention scheme prevented many more people from facing destitution. But the charity warns that with these schemes set to endthe government must act now to ensure we are all protected. 

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said:  

“Communities throughout the country have shown enormous resilience in helping more people than ever before. But food banks and other community charities cannot continue to pick up the pieces. None of us should need a charity’s help to put food on the table.

“Our research finds that Covid-19 has led to tens of thousands of new people needing to use a food bank for the first time. This is not right. If we don’t take action now, there will be further catastrophic rises in poverty in the future.”

“But it doesn’t have to be like this. The pandemic has exposed the power of what happens when we stand together in the face of adversity. We must harness this power to create the changes needed to prevent many more people being locked into poverty this winter. With the furlough scheme set to wind down, we must act now to put in place protection for each other. The Budget and Comprehensive Spending Review present a pivotal opportunity to put things right. We must take it to help us weather the storm left in the wake of Covid-19.”

The charity says there should be no higher priority than preserving the lifelines that have saved many of us from destitution through this pandemic. It points to this autumn’s budget and Comprehensive Spending Review as an opportunity to: 

  • Protect people’s incomes by locking in the £20 rise to Universal Credit brought in at the start of the pandemic  
  • Help people hold on to more of their benefits through the economic crisis by suspending benefit debt deductions until a fairer approach to repayments can be introduced 
  • Make local safety nets as strong as possible by investing £250m in local welfare assistance in England 

 

ENDS 

 

Contact    

Contact the Trussell Trust Press Office at 020 3137 3699 or press@trusselltrust.org 

 

Notes to editors 

  1. On behalf of the Trussell Trust, the I-SPHERE team at Heriot-Watt University have modelled future levels of need for food banks. Their findings estimate that 846,000 three-day emergency food parcels are likely to be distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust’s UK wide network in the last quarter of 2020.  
  2. This represents at least an extra 300,000 on the same period in 2019 when 524,000 were distributed.  
  3. With 846,000 parcels estimated to be distributed, on average across this period 6.38 three-day emergency food parcels a minute will be given out 
  4. I-SPHERE have also estimated the total number of additional people that will be swept into destitution because of the economic crisis. People are defined as destitute if they cannot afford essentials such as shelter, food, heating, lighting, clothing and footwear, and basic toiletries. For more information on destitution please go here: https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/destitution-uk-2018 
  5. Their estimates show 672,905 additional people falling into destitution in the UK by the end of 2020.  
  6. For more information on the modelling approach please contact the Trussell Trust media team who will provide you with the full report.  
  7. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) supported this project, with their economic forecasts forming the basis for some of the assumptions in the modelling carried out by I-SPHERE. They have produced their own independent estimates of future need which are contained within the full report.  
  8. During the crisis the Trussell Trust’s administrative data shows that households with children have been hit the hardest. There was a 95 per cent increase in parcels given out to households with children in April 2020, compared to April 2019. Single people (41%) and couples (79%) saw lower percentage increases.  
  9. The Trussell Trust’s administrative data shows that over half (52%) of households that needed support from a food bank in the Trussell Trust’s network in April 2020 had not used a food bank in the network previously. This represents close to one hundred thousand new households (99,300 April – June 2020) 
  10. The Trussell Trust reported a year on year increase of 18 per cent between 2018/19 and 2019/20. https://www.trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/end-year-stats/  
  11. NIESR’s August review forecasts that the ILO rate of unemployment in the UK will reach 9.8 per cent in the last quart of 2020. The ONS’s time series on ILO unemployment 16-64 highlights that it has not reached that level since April – June 1994. https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peoplenotinwork/unemployment/timeseries/lf2q/lms  

 

About the Trussell Trust: 

  • We’re here to end the need for food banks in UK.  
  • We support a UK-wide network of more than 1,200 food bank centres and together we provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK.  
  • Our most recent figures for the number of emergency food supplies provided by our network: https://www.trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/ 
  • The Trussell Trust’s food bank network brings together volunteers, staff and supporters of all faiths and none to make a difference. Local churches play a vital part in this work, with around 12,000 churches actively involved in donating food, and providing venues, volunteers and financial support for food banks. 
  • You can read more about our work at trusselltrust.org 

 

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Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation

14 Aug

The Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation has been supporting the Trussell Trust since 2017 and we’re hugely grateful for their long-term support. The foundation has generously been donating funds to support Coventry Foodbank, one of the largest food banks in the UK, for the past four years as well as supporting with nationwide volunteering and contributing to operating costs, and they’re supporting us once again with an additional donation of approximately £40,000 as we face the new challenges and increased level of need created by the coronavirus pandemic.

More and more people are being forced to use a food bank and this simply isn’t right but we know that with the support of partners like Sodexo, together we can create a stronger, more compassionate, and more just society where everyone can afford the essentials.

“So many people have found themselves having to turn to a food bank for emergency food during this time, which is just not right.  We are very grateful for the generous donation from the Stop Hunger Foundation which has helped us to be in a position to support the level of need our food banks have seen recently, which would have overwhelmed us in normal times.  We are so grateful that we have been able to be there for them with the support of partners like Sodexo.” Emma Revie, CEO, Trussell Trust

None of the work we do would be possible without the generosity of our corporate partners. They have helped us achieve a great deal in the last few months, and we’re incredibly grateful that Sodexo is standing alongside us, food banks, and people in financial crisis through an additional donation at this time.

I just wanted to say thank you so much for your assistance in getting me a food parcel. I would like to pass my thanks on to the people who delivered it too. I reached out for help in the morning and by the afternoon I had received my help. How lucky I am to live in this country where food is delivered to those who can’t afford it.” Person helped by our new helpline

 

“I cannot explain how much the food parcel has helped us or how truly grateful we are to all the staff, volunteers and the donors! You are all a blessing. Thank you.” Person helped at Lewisham Foodbank

 

“I was really anxious, really scared, worried about what they thought of me, whether I was going to be judged when I walked through the door. But they were so nice, so welcoming, all the volunteers were great, had a cup of tea, a biscuit, and a chat just about any help that I needed. Not many people know that it’s not just about food, it’s about gas, electric, you know, helping you with your finances, they can give you information of where to go, who to talk to and that just lifts a lot of weight off your shoulders- and think OK, actually I am not the only person that is struggling and it’s OK to ask for help”. Lisa Maria – Person referred to a food bank

 

 

 “We had a young man come in for the first time. His partner had been taken into hospital and his firm sacked him and he was in the depths of despair. We managed to put him in touch with an agency for a job, and we go him help and he went away with a smile on his face. That makes it really worthwhile.”  Rena – Food Bank Volunteer

Every year, our partnership continues to bring the issues of hunger and poverty to the forefront of people’s minds, driving food donations and support for food banks in local communities nationwide, and encouraging people to join us in fighting injustice and working towards a better future.

The amazing support from Sodexo really does make all the difference; their fundraising and volunteering allow us to support food banks now and work towards a future where they are no longer needed. Together, we know this can change. On behalf of food banks, the Trussell Trust and, most importantly, the hundreds of thousands of people we work to serve, thank you – we look forward to seeing what we can achieve together!

 

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