As election day unfolds, I want to look at the direct impact food banks and our charity partners have had on the pledges political parties have made in the hope of securing votes today.
The impact of food banks’ collective voice on party manifestos is clear.
The Conservative party has confirmed they will end the benefits freeze and add safeguards to Universal Credit. The Labour and Liberal Democrat party manifestos both recognise the message of #5WeeksTooLong and promise an end to the five week wait for Universal Credit. The SNP manifesto promises to make up the losses in benefit payments caused by benefits freezes and cuts, while Plaid Cymru, the Green party and others talk about the need to make changes to our current benefits system.
We shouldn’t take this lightly.
That widespread, cross-party recognition that our benefits system should be working to protect people from poverty is new. And it hasn’t happened by chance.
These pledges to make much-needed change are because we have worked together so closely with our network food banks and countless other charity partners over the last year, putting time, energy and resource into highlighting the reasons why people need food banks, and crucially, what changes would prevent people needing a food bank in the future.
Irrespective of who wins this General Election, we must continue to press forward. Elections are not just for Christmas after all!
These party manifestos are an indication of the difference we can make on people who have the highest level of decision-making power. We are already making a difference – poverty can be solved and you can help.
Join us as a campaigner today and make your voice heard.
This can change.