People at food banks need support every day, not just during national crises

People left with no option but to use a food bank face impossible decisions every day. Do you skip meals so you can feed your children? Or turn off essential appliances so you can cover the cost of the bus for a job interview?

With more than 2.1 million food parcels provided to people across the UK through our network of food banks in the past year, more people than ever are battling through each day and fighting to survive rather than being able to thrive.

But the last two years have shown us the power that political choices have on people’s lives. And we’ve seen what a difference our voices can make. The measures brought in by the UK government to help families on the lowest income during the pandemic and the cost of living crisis in response to our campaigning, are the kinds of support that bring relief to many people at risk of having to use a food bank.

These moments show that change is possible and our voices count. 

Read our response to the measures announced by the Chancellor in May.

“We warmly welcome the Chancellor’s announcements today. He has done the right thing in using the social security system to support people on the very lowest incomes who are desperately struggling to make ends meet. These increases can mean the difference between skipping meals and being able to put food on the table.

“Many more families would have been forced to use a food bank without this much-needed boost and we know from the pandemic that this kind of support will protect many people who are facing hunger. This is exactly the kind of investment we need in our social security system, so we all have the security and stability of a strong benefits system not just in times of national crisis, but every day.

“Today’s pledge of support proves that change is possible. To end the need for food banks, this cannot be a one-off.  Today’s announcement shows it should be our social security system, not food banks, that provides families with the stability and security we all need to ensure we are all kept warm, fed and dry.”

But if people are to have enough money to live with dignity, our voices need to be heard every day, not just in times of national crisis. And we won’t stop here.

We must keep going and calling for change so that everyone in our society is able to keep warm, stay dry and put food on the table. Rather than patchwork policies, we need investment in our social security system so it is a strong and stable lifeline for whenever someone needs support.

What next?

We’re working with partners in the sector – charities who support people just like we do – on the next step in our campaign to ensure people aren’t going without life’s essentials. We know that when we say the same thing, together, we have more impact.

We’ll soon be launching our next campaign action so please do check back.

No one should have to roll the dice on their lives

As the cost of living crisis worsens, people with the least are being hit the hardest. To understand what it is like to be caught between impossible decisions and be left with no option but to use a food bank, we invite you to roll the dice.

Roll the dice