We’re excited to announce our new partnership with Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group which is the UK’s largest provider of affordable housing.
Clarion staff have been able to refer residents to food banks for some time, but this new approach enables Clarion Futures staff to issue electronic vouchers, streamlining the referral process and enabling people in crisis to receive emergency food more quickly from food banks in the Trussell Trust network.
Last year, food banks in our network provided a record 2.5 million emergency food parcels to people in crisis, a shocking 33% increase in need on the previous year. Almost a million of these parcels went to children. Need at food banks has been increasing year-on-year, and these new figures highlight an alarming 128% rise compared to this time five years ago. This simply isn’t right.
The findings of recent surveys conducted by Clarion to explore the impact of the pandemic on its residents align with this, highlighting the financial issues affecting households in recent months. Research conducted during May to June and November to December 2020 found a significant increase in people worried about money issues, with 14% more people reporting concerns in winter compared to the previous summer.
The number of people forced to go without food because they couldn’t afford it rose from 8% in the summer to 11% in the winter, and the number of residents needing to use a food bank increased from 7% to 12%.
Food banks across the UK help to tackle these issues, enabling people to receive emergency food and wider support when faced with a crisis. As Steph Noyce, Head of Money and Digital at Clarion Futures, notes, “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to alleviating poverty. It’s not just about putting food on the table – it’s about tackling the underlying issues causing food insecurity.” Clarion Futures provides its residents and communities with holistic, personalised support, from free debt and money management advice to help in securing paid employment.
When Danielle was left struggling when she had to give up her job to look after her two younger siblings, this partnership provided a lifeline. While she and her partner waited for her Universal Credit claim to be processed, they were stretched to breaking point. Thanks to our partnership, Clarion Futures was able to refer Danielle to a food bank in the Trussell Trust network for both emergency food and support exploring employment opportunities that fit around her responsibilities. The partnership is already making a real difference, and we’re excited to work together to create meaningful change.
As the impact of the pandemic continues to make itself felt, more and more people are likely to need a food bank’s support. And while food banks across the country are working tirelessly to make sure they can be there for their communities, it isn’t right that anyone should need a food bank. The support of partners like Clarion Futures is vital in making sure that we can continue to support food banks now as we work together towards a hunger free future where we all have enough money for the basics.