Find all the latest news and events from the foodbank. If you are a member of the press and would like to cover any of our stories please contact us, we'd be happy to work with you.

News and events

16/04/2014
  • 913,138 people received three days’ emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks in 2013-14 compared to346,992 in 2012-13
  • Figures are ‘tip of the iceberg’ of UK food poverty says Trussell Trust Chairman
  • 83% of foodbanks report ‘sanctioning’ is causing rising numbers to turn to them
  • Foodbank figures trigger biggest ever faith leader intervention on UK food poverty in modern times.

 

Over 900,000 adults and children have received three days’ emergency food and support from Trussell Trust foodbanks in the last 12 months, a shocking 163 percent rise on numbers helped in the previous financial year. Despite signs of economic recovery, the poorest have seen incomes squeezed even more than last year reports The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest foodbank network. More people are being referred to Trussell Trust foodbanks than ever before.

 

Numbers given 3 days' emergency food

 

Static incomes, rising living costs, low pay, underemployment and problems with welfare, especially sanctioning, are significant drivers of the increased demand. 83 percent of Trussell Trust foodbanks surveyed recently [see notes below] reported that benefits sanctions, which have become increasingly harsh, have caused more people to be referred to them for emergency food. Half of referrals to foodbanks in 2013-14 were a result of benefit delays or changes.
The Trussell Trust’s Chairman, Chris Mould, says:
 
Chris Mould‘That 900,000 people have received three days’ food from a foodbank, close to triple the numbers helped last year, is shocking in 21st century Britain. But perhaps most worrying of all this figure is just the tip of the iceberg of UK food poverty, it doesn’t include those helped by other emergency food providers, those living in towns where there is no foodbank, people who are too ashamed to seek help or the large number of people who are only just coping by eating less and buying cheap food. [See Notes below]
 
In the last year we’ve seen things get worse, rather than better, for many people on low-incomes. It’s been extremely tough for a lot of people, with parents not eating properly in order to feed their children and more people than ever experiencing seemingly unfair and harsh benefits sanctions.
Unless there is determined policy action to ensure that the benefits of national economic recovery reach people on low-incomes we won’t see life get better for the poorest anytime soon.
 
A more thoughtful approach to the administration of the benefits regime and sanctions in particular, increasing the minimum wage, introducing the living wage and looking at other measures such as social tariffs for essentials like energy would help to address the problem of UK hunger.’
 
Whilst there has been a 163 percent increase in foodbank use, there has only been a 45 percent increase in the number of new Trussell Trust foodbanks opening in the last year. The rate of new foodbanks opening has reduced from three a week in 2012/13 to two a week in 2013/14. The Trussell Trust has launched over 400 foodbanks across the UK to date.
 
Foodbanks that have been open for three years or more have seen an average increase of 51% in numbers helped in 2013-14 compared to 2012-13, showing that well established foodbanks are experiencing significant uplift in demand.
 
The Trussell Trust’s figures further reinforce evidence from the recent government-commissioned DEFRA report that increased foodbank use is not a question of supply, but of meeting a real and growing need.
 
Increasingly, Trussell Trust foodbanks are partnering with other agencies to provide additional services such as welfare advice, budgeting help and debt support at the foodbank, helping people to break out of crisis. They are also providing essentials like washing powder, nappies and hygiene products to families who are at breaking point.
 
Oxfam's Head of UK Poverty Programme, Rachael Orr said: "The fact that the number of people forced to turn to food banks has doubled in the last year and the situation is worsening for people in poverty is deeply worrying.

"Foodbanks and the thousands of people who support them are doing an impressive job in helping stop people from going hungry, but the truth is that in a country as rich as the UK there should not be food poverty at all. The Government needs to provide adequate support to the poorest in society and urgently tackle the low incomes and rising bills that are leaving people hungry."

20/03/2014

For many UK families, this Easter won't be about eggs and chocolate, it will be a struggle to put food on the table at all.

Trussell Trust foodbanks gave emergency food to 346,992 people nationwide in 2012-13, including 126,889 children. Rising food and fuel prices combined with static incomes mean more people are hitting a crisis where they can’t afford food. We need your help to stop people going hungry in the UK which is why we are asking you and your friends and family to donate the cost of an Easter egg.

08/01/2014

Thank you to Mirror readers and Unite members for raising over £100,000 for foodbanks!

Please click here to read more.

16/10/2013

Tripling in foodbank usage sparks Trussell Trust to call for an inquiry

 

Over 350,000 people received three days’ emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks between April and September 2013, triple the numbers helped in the same period last year. The Trussell Trust says that UK hunger is getting worse and the charity is calling for an inquiry into the causes of UK food poverty and the consequent surge in foodbank usage.

 

Chris Mould, Executive Chairman of The Trussell Trust says: ‘We said in April that the increasing numbers of people turning to foodbanks should be a wake-up call to the nation, but there has been no policy response and the situation is getting worse. The level of food poverty in the UK is not acceptable. It’s scandalous and it is causing deep distress to thousands of people. The time has come for an official and in depth inquiry into the causes of food poverty and the consequent rise in the usage of foodbanks. As a nation we need to accept that something is wrong and that we need to act now to stop UK hunger getting worse.’                                                                                                                

 

The Trussell Trust is writing to David Cameron asking him to look into the recently raised by the Government’s poverty tsar Frank Field MP.

 

Evidence from Trussell Trust foodbanks shows that rising living costs and stagnant wages are forcing more people to live on a financial knife edge where any change in circumstance can plunge them into poverty. Even marginal shifts in prices when people don’t have elasticity in their personal finances can have a major impact. Food prices have risen by 12.6% above inflation over the past six years and rising energy prices this winter are likely to see more people forced to choose between eating and heating. People at foodbanks have started giving back food items that need cooking because they can’t afford to turn on the electricity.

 

Many people on low-incomes are also being impacted by the implementation of April’s welfare reforms. Trussell Trust foodbanks are reporting increased referrals as a result of the spare room subsidy, sanctioning and confusion caused by the devolution of the Social Fund.

 

Chris Mould says: ‘Problems with welfare are not new, they have existed for years, but the reality is that when welfare provision breaks down, people go hungry. We’re talking about mums not eating for days because they’ve been sanctioned for seemingly illogical reasons, or people leaving hospital after a major operation to find that their benefits have been stopped or delayed. It’s not right that so many more people are now being referred to foodbanks due to problems with welfare, especially as much of this is preventable.

 

This is not about pointing fingers, it’s about finding solutions. That’s why we believe an enquiry is now essential’

 

Chris Johnes, Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme Director, says:

"These figures lay bare the shocking scale of destitution, hardship and hunger in the UK. It is completely unacceptable that in the seventh wealthiest nation on the planet, the number of people turning to foodbanks has tripled.”

 "Oxfam welcomes The Trussell Trust’s call for the Prime Minister to launch an urgent inquiry into why people are forced to turn to foodbanks."

 Last week, British Red Cross announced that it will provide volunteers for the first time to support Tesco’s nationwide food collection for Trussell Trust Foodbanks and FareShare because it is so concerned by levels of UK hunger.

 The Trussell Trust’s Chris Mould says ‘Trussell Trust foodbanks across the UK provide a much needed and vital lifeline to people facing hunger but far fewer people should be needing them and the rise in numbers we are reporting today  must sound an alarm.’

08/07/2013

The Trussell Trust has been named ‘Britain’s Most Admired Charity’ at Third Sector’s 2013 charity award ceremony held at Google HQ in London. The award was based on the votes of CEO’s of UK charities and not-for-profit organisations who were asked to select a charity that had gained the admiration of others in
the sector through its recent achievements. These could include achieving its objectives, providing outstanding service to beneficiaries or carving out a distinctive position and voice for itself. Find out more here

 

02/05/2012

Trussell Trust foodbanks have seen the biggest rise in numbers given emergency food since the charity began in 2000. Almost 350,000 people have received at least three days emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks during the last 12 months, nearly 100,000 more than anticipated and close to triple the number helped in 2011-12. Rising cost of living, static incomes, changes to benefits, underemployment and unemployment have meant increasing numbers of people in the UK have hit a crisis that forces them to go hungry. This dramatic rise in foodbank usage predates April’s welfare reforms, which could see numbers increase further in 2013-14.

24/01/2013

We're looking for volunteers to help run the foodbank. If you can spare a few hours a week, why not get in touch. There are lots of things that need doing from sorting food and fundraising to meeting clients and supermarket collections. Why not see where you fit in?

 

 

23/01/2013

Trussell Trust founders, Paddy and Carol Henderson, who started the Salisbury foodbank in their garden shed twelve years ago have been named in the Independent's list of the top 101 people of last year. 

The Trussell Trust was founded in 1997 to help orphans in Bulgaria sleeping in the Central Rail Station. In 2000, a local woman from Salisbury challenged them to do something about the fact that she and her children were going hungry at home in Salisbury. Upon discovering that significant numbers of local people had to go hungry when faced with a short term crisis, Paddy and Carol founded the Salisbury foodbank in their garden shed to provide short-term emergency food. In 2004 a second foodbank was launched in Gloucester, and the Trussell Trust foodbank network has been growing ever since.

Read more in the Salisbury Journal here.

For the Independent's 101 Greatest Britons of 2012, go here.

And for more information about the Trussell Trust's work in Bulgaria and the UK, visit their website.

06/12/2012

The Trussell Trust is delighted to have won a prestigious Charity Times 'Charity of the Year' award and we would like to say a huge thank you to all our supporters - it's you who make what we do possible. The judges were impressed by the way that the foodbank network 'showed fantastic growth and huge success in a wide range of disparate communities'. The award is testament to the incredible efforts of foodbanks across the UK to address the problem of food poverty.

18/04/2012

Trussell Trust Executive Chairman Chris Mould was invited to David Cameron's Easter Celebration at 10 Downing Street recently in recognition of the important work that foodbanks are doing across the UK.Chris says: 'The Prime Minister's acknowledgement of foodbanks is testament to the incredible work of all those across the UK who have stepped up and launched foodbanks in their towns to stop people going hungry. It's a big well done to everyone involved.

18/04/2012

Of 2000 mothers surveyed by Netmums recently, 1 in 5 regularly go without meals to feed their children, 16% are being treated for stress-related illnesses and one third are borrowing money from friends and family to stay afloat. Most mothers stated that their situation is worse than a year ago with less money coming in.     

Foodbanks meet mums in desperate situations every week. This week foodbank mum Donna was almost in tears as she told me that she couldn't afford birthday presents to give to her twins who will be 13 on Sunday. She said that her sons had asked to have a friend come to stay to celebrate their birthday but she hasn't said yes because she's not sure they can afford the extra food. Donna used to work in a school for children with Aspergers and Autism but is currently off work due to depression - which has been exacerbated by the family's financial worries. Her partner was recently made redundant and they are currently living on £38 per week due to mistakes with their benefits. This is the reality behind the statistics. Donna says she will be 'eternally grateful' for their foodbox. Without it she says she would have gone without food and had to try to scrape together enough money to give the children something, even just bread and butter. The family are keen to get back into work, that's the hope that keeps them going.


23/05/2011

You may know him for his roles in Love Actually and Pirates of the Caribbean, but actor Bill Nighy is a keen campaigner on social justice. As one of the voices of the Robin Hood Tax campaign, Bill wanted to find out more about UK poverty and Oxfam suggested that he visit a Trussell Trust foodbank!

Recently, we took Bill to Hammersmith and Fulham foodbank where he met foodbank clients, heard their stories and even packed a foodbox himself. At the end of his visit we asked Bill what he thought, he told us: 'It's very moving to come here in modern times to see a room incredibly well stocked with donated food for people who, through no fault of their own, have dropped through the cracks. The fact that the people here volunteer to help is both touching and exemplary. I salute all those involved.'

Watch Guardian online's film of Bill's visit

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