One year of Fight Hunger Create Change

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Food banks receive almost £2 million in grants to provide more support to people locked in poverty

More than 90 food banks in our network have been awarded grants to provide more support to people in crisis, as our partnership with FareShare and Asda Fight Hunger Create Change marks its first anniversary

As we continue working with FareShare and Asda to tackle the root causes of poverty in the UK, this new grant funding from the Fight Hunger Create Change partnership will allow food banks in our network to provide even more vital services to people at the point of crisis. From supplying emergency food parcels to providing on-site debt and money advice, the grants will allow the food banks to hire specialist advisers, create additional storage space and increase work to tackle the root causes of poverty in the UK.

Jonathan Lees at Epsom & Ewell Foodbank, one of the food banks who has received a grant, said:

“With demand on our food bank accelerating alarmingly, we cannot simply increase the scale of what we do – it is just not sustainable. Using this grant, we plan to take a different approach. We want to explore the root causes of poverty and begin to transform systems and cultures within public, private and voluntary sector organisations in East Surrey through a Poverty Truth Commission (PTC). The commission will work together to understand and address the causes and symptoms of poverty, ensuring that those affected by poverty, and their stories, are central to decisions made about how to tackle it. Let’s hope that the outcome is that one day no one will need from our food bank!”

The Trussell Trust’s chief executive Emma Revie said:

“No one should need a food bank’s help. While we work in the long-term to tackle the structural issues that lock people in poverty, food banks will be able to provide even more vital support to people referred. We’ve never been in a position to support our network to deliver help to this extent before – the nature of investment is unprecedented. These grants will provide crucial additional resources to food banks, increasing the diversity and breadth of the services they can offer people in crisis and tackle the root causes of poverty.”

In the 12 months since the launch of Fight Hunger Create Change, the three-year partnership has also:

  • Funded the first phase of the most in-depth piece of research into food bank use to date
  • Supported the development of our advocacy work for long-term solutions to the drivers of food bank use
  • Provided additional meals for people in crisis through:
    • Opening four new FareShare warehouses to enable the distribution of food to community groups – including children’s breakfast clubs, lunch clubs for older people and domestic violence refugees
    • Donating surplus food in the Asda network to FareShare’s community groups
    • More than one million meals have been donated to food banks through customer donations from Asda stores
  • Allowed us to take part in a ground-breaking fresh food pilot linking FareShare and our network of food banks. Already more than a thousand people have benefited from a greater variety of nutritious fresh fruit and vegetables in addition to the standard three-day emergency parcel

Over the three years, the partnership will help provide even more support to people referred to food banks, while working towards a future without food banks through better research into the drivers of food bank use.

Andy Murray, Chief Customer Officer at Asda said:

“It’s been a year since we launched our partnership with Trussell Trust and FareShare, and I’m incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made to change the face of poverty in the UK. As we move into the second year of our campaign, we’ll continue to provide not just meals for people but support to help them out of poverty, and we thank our customers and colleagues for their ongoing support in our challenge to fight hunger.”

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