Posts in '2020'

British Gas partners with the Trussell Trust to help food banks during Coronavirus crisis

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  • British Gas engineers and colleagues will be able to support their local area by collecting and delivering food parcels – the company hopes its people will support with 50,000 deliveries a month
  • British Gas employees can also volunteer to donate and sort food parcels

British Gas will be working with Trussell Trust by encouraging its people to volunteer with a local food bank. The Trussell Trust is seeing three main challenges impacting food banks as a result of Coronavirus and British Gas will be working with it to address these:

  1. To prevent the spread of the virus food banks have moved to a system where they are delivering parcels to the doorsteps of the people that need them most, rather than encouraging groups of people to come together at a food bank centre. British Gas will be setting up local networks of engineers and employees to assist with an anticipated 50,000 deliveries a month.
  2. Collecting food donations and transporting them to local food banks has become increasingly difficult. To help ensure food supplies at food banks, British Gas staff can donate to food banks, and engineers can also pick up food from supermarkets and wholesalers.
  3. Food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network have more than 28,000 regular volunteers but many of these are over 70, and some have underlying health conditions. Food banks have asked any volunteers considered as ‘at risk’ to stay at home, leaving them needing more volunteers. British Gas will therefore be encouraging employees to volunteer with their local food bank.

British Gas is currently only attending emergency and essential visits including for vulnerable customers in order to manage demand in these challenging times and follow Government guidelines about non-essential contact. It also has robust safety procedures in place for contact with customers. It anticipates many of its people that will volunteer will be ones whose workloads have been lessened in the current crisis or those who can fit the volunteering work easily around their vital day job.

Matthew Bateman, Managing Director of Field Operations at British Gas, said:

“Our engineers, call centre and support teams are playing a crucial role in ensuring our customer’s homes are safe, warm and working and I’m so proud of the amazing work they are doing. Many of our people are already helping their communities by volunteering at food banks, getting shopping for vulnerable customers and even using their skills to make face masks to give to NHS workers! There are still so many of our people that want to do more to help those in need so by working with the Trussell Trust we can help get food and other essentials to those who really need it. We are in a unique position to help with our nationwide reach and with the third largest fleet in the UK.”

Emma Revie, chief executive at the Trussell Trust said,

As the coronavirus pandemic develops, we’re working closely with food banks to support them to continue providing vital emergency food to people who can’t afford the essentials in a safe way. Being able to deliver food bank parcels to people’s homes will really help us ensure everyone’s safety – but it’s a big change to the way food banks normally work. That’s why it’s so important to have the support of British Gas.

“Everyone should be able to afford their own food and we’ll be continuing our work to end the need for food banks, but right now more people than ever are likely to need a food bank’s help. This partnership will help us get donated food to food banks for packing, and then deliver those vital parcels to people who can’t afford food. We’re so grateful to British Gas for their support.”

British Gas has also been able to support its existing charity partner, Carers UK, after the charity has seen a 60% increase in call demand in recent weeks. Carers urgently need advice on care and social distancing, resources for remote caring and support with food and community services. So, for the next 12 weeks, British Gas is helping Carers UK to keep the helpline and email service running throughout the week, so that they can provide vital support and advice.

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Tesco announces £15 million food donations to support food banks and local community groups

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Today Tesco has confirmed that over the next 12 weeks it will be providing a top up food donation of £15 million of food (ambient and fresh) to FareShare and the Trussell Trust, as part of a wider £25 million package of support they have set up for local communities during the current Covid-19 outbreak. They are also donating £1 million between the two organisations.

This support comes at a critical time as the pressure the pandemic is putting on people’s income builds and the possibility of an increased need for emergency food grows. The food they supply will be distributed to community groups and food banks so that it can reach people in crisis as quickly as possible, with the additional funding supporting FareShare and the Trussell Trust’s continuing operations to support charities in their networks.

The Trussell Trust’s CEO, Emma Revie, said:

“We are so grateful for this support from Tesco. As the pandemic develops, we’re working closely with food banks to ensure people who can’t afford essentials can get an emergency food parcel. But we can only provide that vital lifeline if we have food for those parcels.

“During any normal year, the next twelve weeks would see a squeeze on food bank stock levels, as donations often dip with the approach of summer. When we add the pressure this pandemic is putting on people’s incomes, and the possible increased need for emergency food, Tesco’s support really couldn’t come at a more critical time.

“Everyone should be able to afford their own food and we’ll be continuing our work to end the need for food banks, but right now more people than ever are likely to need our network’s help. That’s why Tesco’s support will make such a difference in communities across the UK.”

The wider package of support includes additional funding for Tesco’s existing Bags of Help community donation scheme; funding that stores can access to support causes in their local area; and a development of Tesco’s existing partnership with the British Red Cross as they work to support people in crisis.

Tesco Group CEO, Dave Lewis, said:

“Our stores are at the heart of the communities we serve and as well as supporting our customers and colleagues, we want to help those who need it most, locally. We will significantly boost our food donations programme, to ensure food banks and community groups have the supplies they need; whilst giving extra resources to the British Red Cross and focus our Bags of Help scheme to deliver more community support where its most needed at this difficult time.”

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Liam Payne helps provide 360,000 meals to people struggling as a result of the coronavirus outbreak

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  • Liam Payne has joined forces with national charity the Trussell Trust to support food banks in the Midlands and other key cities as they expect to see an increased need as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • This support will help over 100 food bank centres in Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry, Sheffield, Nottingham and Bristol continue to provide their essential community service for people in crisis.
  • It’s expected that these food banks will provide over 360,000 meals to people in crisis over the next three months, as the pandemic unfolds
  • Liam Payne’s donation is the beginning of a long term relationship with the Trussell Trust which will see him use his platform to continue to reach new audiences and raise awareness.

Singer-songwriter Liam Payne is supporting the Trussell Trust, a charity that works with a network of more than 1,200 food bank centres across the UK, to help support people struggling in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Last year, food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network provided 1.6m emergency food parcels to people in crisis. More than half a million of these went to children.

The charity has warned more people are likely to need a food bank’s help support as a result of the outbreak – especially those who aren’t eligible for sick pay or have unstable jobs.

Wherever possible, food banks are continuing to provide emergency support to people in their community in the safest way possible. Food banks have had to make significant changes to the way they work in order to protect the health of everyone at the food bank – whether that’s people who need the food bank, people volunteering, or people donating.

Liam’s support will enable the Trussell Trust to launch a crisis fund for food banks in cities in his home region of the Midlands and other key cities across the UK, helping local food banks meet the expected increased need in the coming months.

Over the next three months, food banks that could benefit from Liam’s support are expected to provide over 120,000 meals to people in crisis. This new fund will help over 100 food bank centres to react to the changing needs of their community as the pandemic unfolds; recruiting additional staff, hiring delivery vehicles or extra space, or, if necessary and available, buying food. Ultimately, helping these food banks continue to provide their essential community service for people in crisis.

Liam said,

“It’s not right that anyone in our country is unable to afford food. Food banks do incredible work to help the people most in need of support. It’s vital that we get support to those people right now, as this crisis unfolds. The Trussell Trust is working with food banks across the country to ensure emergency help is there for people who don’t have money for the basics.

“But I’m also donating because of the work they do to work towards a future where no one needs a food bank – we can’t end the conversation with getting emergency food to people – as vital as that is. When we’re out the other side of this, we need to look at why there are people in our country who don’t have enough money for food. I want to play my part in finding a solution to ensure people have enough money to buy their own food – and end the need for food banks.”

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust said,

“We are so grateful to Liam for this generous donation. This will help us continue to support our network of food banks to provide the best possible emergency help to people referred at an uncertain time. We’re working with food banks across the country to make big changes to the way food banks work, so we can get emergency food to people in the safest way possible. This isn’t easy. Our main priority is the safety of everyone at a food bank, and having support like this helps us ensure that emergency support can continue to be available in the safest possible way. But ultimately, no one should need to use a food bank. Everyone should be able to afford their own food. Liam’s support will help people in the Midlands and other key cities get the emergency support they need today, while working towards a future where people have enough money for the essentials in life.”

Here's how you can help

You can make a donation by clicking on the button below. If you’re able to support food banks during these unprecedented times, it will make a real impact on the lives of people in crisis.

We’re doing all we can to support food banks at this time. Your support makes a real difference, and we’re grateful for your generosity in this time of uncertainty.

Please support your local food bank by checking what items are most needed, and donating those if you are able to.

You can find what food banks near you are in need of by using the search box below:

In association with  Give Food.

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What does tonight’s announcement mean for food banks?

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Our main priority is ensuring the safety of everyone who comes to a food bank – whether it’s someone needing help, someone volunteering their time, or someone making a donation. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, food banks face a difficult decision about whether they are able to stay open. Each food bank in our network is a local charity, run by a community for their local community, and each will be affected differently – so we’ll be working with each of them to look at what is safe for everyone involved.

Until we are confident that adequate government protection against poverty is in place, food banks provide an essential community service to people unable to afford food.

The latest government advice explains food banks can legally continue operating and buildings that host food banks can continue to open for those sessions, provided we follow social distancing rules, because your work qualifies you as key workers ‘caring for the vulnerable’.

At food banks, social distancing rules mean ensuring volunteers who are classed as ‘at risk’ because they are over 70 or have a health condition stay at home. It means making sure there are hand-washing facilities in any centre people are in, and everyone is asked to wash their hands regularly. It also means making big changes to the way centres work, to limit contact between people. This will look different in different centres, but it might mean:

  • Instead of being invited into a centre, people referred are immediately given a pre-packed food bank parcel in a practical, dignified and compassionate manner
  • Ensuring that wherever people are waiting, there is a large enough space for people to wait at least two metres apart
  • A reduced number of food bank sessions per week
  • Coordination with local agencies to give them pre-packed food bank parcels, or to deliver to people those agencies work with

The above is where we stand legally following the PM’s announcement but we will be working with each of the food banks in our network about what’s best for their local community.

The Trussell Trust will remain open and ready to support food banks in whatever difficult decision they make. If a food bank feels it can continue to run, in line with the government guidance and with the support of their volunteers and local community, we will do everything we can to support the food bank. If a food bank feels it is unable to open, we will look at how we can get work to get emergency food to people in that area who don’t have enough money for food, in a safe, alternative way.

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Asda donates £5m to food banks & community charities to help people through COVID-19

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Asda donates £5 million to food banks and community charities as well as extending accessible hours for NHS workers and offering additional support to colleagues.  

Asda has announced it will be donating £5 million to its partners FareShare and the Trussell Trust to help the country’s most vulnerable people through COVID-19.

The extensive package of measures will provide over 4 million meals to families in poverty impacted by Coronavirus as well as giving more than 3000 charities the ability to access free food over the next three months as they fight to tackle the impacts of Coronavirus in their communities.

The donation from the supermarket also will help the networks of the two charities as they experience a huge increase in demand over the coming months, as more vulnerable people turn to food banks for help through COVID-19.

Asda is also investing in the logistics and support services that will allow FareShare and the Trussell Trust to support families through the crisis, including funding for telephone, and online and food delivery systems for people unable to afford food, as well as supporting the recruitment of 20,000 volunteers to support food banks.

The funding will also continue the work of the Fight Hunger Create Change partnership between Asda and the two charities by helping tackle the root causes of poverty through supporting 800,000 people over the next year with access to income maximisation services for people at food banks.

CEO Roger Burnley comments; “These are the most extraordinary of times and I am keenly aware of our responsibility to help feed the nation – both by keeping our shelves stocked and deliveries moving – but also by providing employment opportunities where we can and supporting our charity partners to help the most vulnerable in our communities. The efforts my colleagues are going to support our customers every day are fantastic, and we will continue to recognise their efforts wherever we can. I also want to thank our amazing customers who continue to donate to our food bank trollies and who continue to think of others, even in such worrying times.”

Asda has already confirmed that it is working to recruit more than 5000 people into temporary roles from industries impacted by the crisis – helping to ensure people are kept in jobs and wage cost pressures are lifted from struggling companies.

Asda colleagues are working around the clock to keep shelves filled for customers and have been told this week that they will receive full pay should the need to self-isolate as a result of coronavirus symptoms. Today, Asda’s store and distribution colleagues who do not need to self-isolate were told they will receive an additional weeks pay in June as a thank you for their efforts.

Asda has also confirmed that it will be prioritising NHS workers in larger stores every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8-9am.

To protect colleagues, as well as following Government advice on hygiene practice, Asda is also asking that where possible customers use card and contactless payment method in order to reduce the amount of cash colleagues are handling.

Burnley concluded“We all have a clear responsibility to look after each other during this crisis, particularly our most vulnerable groups. I was heartened to see how our customers respected this priority access and so am proud to be able to extend it to more regular days and also include our amazing NHS colleagues can access our stores with a little more ease.”

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust: 

“Food banks face an unprecedented challenge in the coming months. As the coronavirus outbreak unfolds, more people are likely to need emergency food at exactly the same time as fewer volunteers are able to help. The resilience of food banks is nothing short of outstanding, and we’re working closely with our network to help ensure that wherever possible, people unable to afford the essentials can access help. But this is not easy. That’s why this support from Asda will make such a difference.

“This funding will help us recruit and train new food bank volunteers across the UK, and support the coordination of packing and delivering pre-made food parcels to people who need a food bank’s help, but can’t leave their homes. Protecting people from hunger cannot fall to food banks alone, and we’ll be continuing to push for crucial changes that get money into the pockets of people who most need it – while that work is underway, Asda’s support will help us ensure the safety of everyone who needs a food bank during the pandemic.”

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare said;

“In this unprecedented time of COVID-19 crisis, we are immensely grateful to our partner Asda for their incredible support of £5 million. This will aid FareShare to adapt its models to reach the 1m vulnerable people who we currently serve and work with our network of frontline charities to achieve the vital doorstep food deliveries and new food distribution methods we know are so essential at this time.”

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Budget 2020: our response

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The Chancellor announced a number of changes to our benefits system in today’s Budget. The full details of these are available here.

The Trussell Trust was encouraged to see the changes focused on protecting people’s incomes – such as the £500m hardship fund for local authorities.

It is also encouraging to see the changes in deductions to Universal Credit, which mean the amounts needing to be paid back will be reduced to 25% of a claimant’s standard allowance, and repayment of advances will take place over 24 months instead of just 12. We would like to see these measures brought forward from their planned start date, October 2021.

This is a step in the right direction, but there is more to be done to ensure that Universal Credit payments are enough for everyone to afford the absolute essentials.

Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust, Emma Revie, explains:

“The Chancellor is right when he says that coronavirus represents an unprecedented challenge for the UK, and to introduce measures to strengthen the safety net for the most vulnerable people. We welcome the extra financial support announced, particularly the £500m hardship fund for local councils, which can play a key role in anchoring us all from poverty.

“But as coronavirus unfolds, more people could need this safety net than ever before – especially those who aren’t eligible for sick pay or have unstable jobs. For many of these people the five-week wait for a first Universal Credit payment could cause real hardship, despite measures announced in today’s Budget. We know the five-week wait is already pushing people to food banks, trapping many in debt and making issues with housing, ill health, disability and domestic abuse worse.

“In his statement, the Chancellor said that he will continue to review the situation. As more people look likely to move onto Universal Credit as a result of the outbreak, the most effective way to help would be to end the five-week wait for a first Universal Credit payment by giving people grants, rather than loans that have to be paid back further down the line. We can prevent more people being locked into poverty as the outbreak develops by ending the wait now.”

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Contact

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

 

Notes to Editor

The Trussell Trust’s #5WeeksTooLong campaign is calling for an end to the 5+ week wait for Universal Credit.

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/
  • You can read more about our work at trusselltrust.org
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Coronavirus and food banks

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We’re being asked lots of questions about the possible impact of coronavirus on people needing food banks, and the support food banks will be able to provide.

This is an unprecedented challenge, and we don’t yet know how things will unfold. We’re working with our network on how best to support people, and wherever possible, food banks will continue to provide the lifeline of emergency food.

Food banks sometimes run low on certain items but we have not heard from any food bank in our network that they are currently running out of all food donations. We will continue to monitor this closely, and are working on how we can support as the situation develops. In the meantime, we encourage the public to continue donating after checking with their local food bank what items are most needed.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust said: 

“Time and again over the past decade, food banks across the UK – aided by a generous public who have donated time, food and money – have stepped up to protect people on the lowest incomes in our communities. But with the spread of coronavirus we all now face an unprecedented challenge and uncertain future. It is possible that food banks will face increased demand as people lose income, at the same time as food donations drop or staff and volunteers are unavailable, due to measures rightly put in place to slow the spread of infection. All of this comes when food banks are already dealing with a record level of need for emergency food.

“We’re working with our network on how best to support people as the situation unfolds. Wherever possible, food banks will continue to provide the lifeline of emergency food to people unable to afford the essentials and we encourage the public to continue donating after checking with their local food bank what items are most needed.

“We welcome the Department for Work and Pensions’ measures that will not penalise or sanction people for self-isolating, but we ask our government to go further and consider additional measures they could take to ensure everyone has enough money for essentials at this challenging time.  Ending the five week wait for a first Universal Credit payment would be one such measure that could help significantly.”

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Public generosity to food banks last Christmas must be matched by urgent policy changes

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As new figures reveal the level of generosity from the public to food banks in the run up to last Christmas, the Trussell Trust is calling on the government to end the five week wait for Universal Credit.

New figures released today show 3,072 tonnes of food were donated to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network in December 2019, as donations from the public kept pace with the increased need for emergency food seen last year.

The sheer amount of food donated comes against a backdrop of soaring need for food banks across the UK as more and more people are locked into poverty due to low benefit incomes, benefit delays and changes to benefits being paid.  Although Universal Credit is not the only benefit payment people at food banks experience problems with, one of the key issues forcing people to food banks is the five week wait for a first Universal Credit payment.

A recent YouGov survey found that half of the UK public has taken action to address hunger and its causes in the last 12 months, with more than a third donating food to a food bank. The Trussell Trust is asking the new government to match the public’s commitment to stopping people going hungry by playing its part and sticking to its manifesto pledge to ‘do more to make sure Universal Credit works for the most vulnerable’.

The charity is calling on the new Chancellor to use the forthcoming Budget on March 11th to ensure that the benefits system can support people who need it by:

  1. Ending the five week wait for Universal Credit
  2. Ensuring benefit payments cover the cost of living
  3. Investing in local emergency support for people in crisis

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

“Food banks were truly overwhelmed by the level of generosity from the public in the run up to Christmas. These donations show communities and individuals, driven by compassion and justice, are doing what they can to help people facing hunger, but no charity can replace the dignity of having enough money to buy your own food.

“We know this can change. It’s now time for our new Chancellor to do his part in the forthcoming Budget and match these acts of compassion by doing the right thing and putting money back into the pockets of people who most need support. 

“It’s in our power as a country to end the need for food banks. To reach that future, we need to make sure everyone has enough money for the essentials. The government’s first priority must be ensuring our benefits system anchors us all from the rising tide of poverty by ending the five week wait for Universal Credit.”

While the amount of food donated allowed food banks to support increasing numbers of people, the Trussell Trust is also asking the public to check what items their local food bank is most in need of and to donate all year round to ensure vital support is available to local people in crisis, no matter the time of year.

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Contact

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

 

Notes to Editor:

The Trussell Trust’s statistics:

  • Between December 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019, food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network received 3072.50 tonnes of food
  • Figures from the Trussell Trust cannot be used to fully explain the scale of food bank use across the UK, because figures relate to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network and not to the hundreds of independent food banks. There are more than 1,200 food bank centres in the Trussell Trust’s network across the UK – research from the Independent Food Aid Network shows there are at least 817 independent food banks, so the Trussell Trust network accounts for roughly two-thirds of all food banks.
  • The Independent Food Aid Network and A Menu for Change recently published data on the number of emergency food parcels distributed by independent food banks in Scotland which almost doubles the scale shown by figures from the Trussell Trust network – more detail here.

 

County

Stock in Dec 19

(In Tonnes)

Scotland 412.85
Wales 206.46
Northern Ireland 97.77
North East 168.39
North West 378.40
Yorkshire and Humberside 171.14
West Midlands 265.76
East Midlands 174.43
East of England 348.04
London 283.45
South West 277.43
South East 288.38
Total 3,072.50
   

 

 

About the Trussell Trust:

  • The Trussell Trust is an anti-poverty charity that supports a network of more than 1,200 food bank centres across the UK.
  • It takes more than food to end hunger. The Trussell Trust therefore does three things: supports its network to provide emergency food to people referred; helps food banks to provide on-site additional help or signpost people to relevant local charities to resolve the cause of referral; and brings together the experiences of hundreds of communities on the front line to challenge the structural issues that lock people in poverty, and campaign for long-term change so we can see a future without the need for food banks.
  • Read more at trusselltrust.org

 

 

 

 

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Colchester Foodbank: Asda Fight Hunger Create Change

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A key part of the Fight Hunger Create Change partnership between Asda, the Trussell Trust and FareShare is a grants programme for food banks in our network, providing crucial additional resources to increase the breadth of services they can offer people to help prevent someone needing a food bank again in the future.

This month we are collectively marking our two-year anniversary of the partnership and sharing stories of the difference it has made to people’s lives. A year on from receiving their grant funding, Colchester Foodbank has been able to achieve everything it had planned over three years. Michael Beckett, who is the chief officer at the food bank, explains what has been made possible…

Michael: Paramedics came to us after tending to an elderly lady who had collapsed in the street. When they took her home, they found her cupboards were bare – she had been surviving off half a bag of sugar that she’d been making sugar water out of as she had nothing.  The paramedics knew that unless she was helped with extra food, she’d collapse again as she had nothing until her pension came in the next week.

We were able to make sure she had enough food to see her through. This is the vital support we can give people– and with the Asda grant we have been able to double the amount of volunteers we can take on – we now have 150 helping us.

Unfortunately, we have seen a huge increase in need for our services, especially since people have moved onto the new benefits system Universal Credit. People are having to wait five weeks until they receive their first payment and so are going without.  Since that change from 2018 to 2019, we have experienced more than a 30% increase in demand, most worryingly a 41.4% in demand for children.

Our Asda grant has enabled us to take on a warehouse supervisor and the difference this has made is incredible. It has freed up much more of my time and not only enabled us to increase the amount of volunteers we have helping us – but we are now able to open on Saturdays, have opened at two extra locations and have been able to take on a long-term storage unit. This change has helped us facilitate this increase hugely.

Our increased capacity means we can better help the hospital discharge team with vouchers for food parcels, as well as social workers and schools.  Not only that, but people fleeing domestic violence and moving from refuges to a new home are able to come and we can provide them with items such as cutlery, crockery and a tin opener, as well as food, so they can settle better into their new life.

Being able to provide such support can be the difference between helping people at risk of having their children taken into care – or losing their home – because people are forced into situations where they cannot provide – or pay their rent.

I am so grateful to our volunteers who all work so hard day in and day out – and to Asda for giving us the opportunity to double the capacity of our volunteers, treble our footprint and accommodate a third increase in demand. Without that generous extra funding people would suffer because we wouldn’t have had the resources to cope.

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Two years of Asda Fight Hunger Create Change helping to create a future without the need for food banks

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A blog post by
Samantha Stapley
Chief Operations Officer

It is unacceptable that anyone in our country is forced to turn to a food bank. We’re working hard to reach a future where everyone has enough money to buy their own food, but we know we can’t get there on our own.

That’s why this week we’re marking the second year of our three-year Fight Hunger Create Change partnership with Asda and FareShare, and looking back at our work together so far.

A huge amount has been done in the first two years. Day in and day out thousands of our volunteers offer more than just food to people coming to food banks across our network and we want to ensure everyone who needs a food bank’s help receives the best possible support.

Not only has this partnership made it possible for more than 63,000 people to access fresh food last year, with that figure expected to rise in the year ahead – but it has enabled incredible specialist roles and services in food banks across the country to become a reality.

Food banks have been able to apply for grants to resource advice workers, support workers, counselling services, community fundraisers, warehouse managers and much more to help unlock people from the grip of poverty.

Take Ali at Ribble Valley Foodbank, for example. Ali, a past food bank volunteer and trained counsellor, was able to set up a tailored counselling service, the Gateway, with an Asda grant and built a team that has supported more than 50 people in the past year.

One young mother told her: “I’ve never felt so heard and understood by a therapist before and the lasting effects of my time with Gateway have been amazing. I now have the understanding and the tools to effectively navigate negative situations that arise.”

As well as this kind of holistic support, other projects have been able to get off the ground, such as a holiday club at Selby Foodbank. The food bank’s plan was to help people missing out on free school meals during school breaks by creating a special one-off family voucher for a parcel that would last five days, with sample menus.

The scheme has helped provide more than 5500 meals for children, enabling families to spend money on other essentials during the holidays.

But there is a second, transformative area of work the Asda Fight Hunger Create Change partnership has been instrumental in supporting. While our incredible volunteers continue to work tirelessly to support communities, we’re determined to reach a future where no one is forced to a food bank.

Right now, far too many people across our society are facing hunger and that’s just not right. But it doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of the UK’s future.

With cutting edge research and compelling evidence, we can work with policy makers to help find solutions moving towards an end to the need for food banks. Our partnership has been fundamental in supporting our work with academics to produce State of Hunger, the largest ever piece of research into hunger and food bank use in the UK.

This three-year project, carried out by researchers at Heriot-Watt University, will help us to understand the scale of hunger and poverty in the UK and is already informing our advocacy, campaigning and long-term work to move closer to a future where everyone has enough money for the essentials.

We are determined to ensure no one in their community goes hungry. Better still, we are determined to end the need for food banks in the UK – and the Asda Fight Hunger Create Change is helping us get there.

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