Posts in 'Blog'

The State of Hunger: Our housing crisis is driving people to food banks

Share this:

By Tom Weeks, Research Manager at the Trussell Trust

Today, as part of the State of Hunger blog series, we are exploring how issues with housing can drive people to food banks.  

With over 95,000 households living in temporary accommodation at the end of March 2021, today’s English homelessness statistics highlight the scale of the housing emergency we are facing. Despite the eviction ban (in place until the end of May 2021), in the first three months of 2021 alone over 36,500 households presented to their local council and were found to be homeless.   (more…)

Read more

State of Hunger: It’s not right that growing numbers of migrants without access to benefits are being forced to turn to food banks 

Share this:

By Rosie Sourbut, public affairs assistant at the Trussell Trust

Last week, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ending the Need for Food Banks ran a joint event with the APPG on Immigration Law and Policy.

The groups  discussed the links between destitution, food bank use and No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)  which is when migrants are not allowed to access the benefits system.   (more…)

Read more

Together for change with the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation

Share this:

By Crispin Shingler, corporate partnerships manager at the Trussell Trust

Our vision is for a UK without the need for food banks.

We say this because it’s not right that anyone can’t afford their own food. That’s why we’re working towards a just, compassionate future, where no one should have to use a food bank to get by.

Here at the Trussell Trust, we are proud to continue to partner with Sodexo through its Stop Hunger Foundation, which believes quality of life begins when basic needs are met.

Since 2017 we have been sharing similar principles and working together to support food banks in the Trussell Trust network to help people and families during times of financial crisis.

We are thrilled by the enthusiasm Sodexo has shown towards our Together for Change strategy and belief in our vision.

With support from corporate partners such as Sodexo, we will be working towards helping food banks actively reduce the need for emergency food in their communities.

In 2021, with its donation of £70,000, Sodexo is supporting our new national telephone helpline, Help through Hardship, and will continue to support our core offer of support to the food bank network.

Before the pandemic, people needing a food bank’s support were referred by a range of professionals including teachers, health care and social workers and staff at advice centres such as Citizens Advice.

After being issued with a food bank referral voucher, people then collected emergency food supplies from their local food bank.

During lockdown, many referral partners stopped operating face-to-face services.

It was important therefore, to ensure that referrals to food banks could still be accessed at a time when many referral agencies had reduced services in a way that did not require referral partners, or people needing a food bank’s support, to leave their homes.

This was made possible through a partnership with Citizens Advice (England & Wales) by setting up a new national telephone helpline, Help through Hardship, in April 2020.

More than 21,000 people have accessed the helpline for support to increase their incomes by ensuring they are receiving the benefits they are entitled to.  You can find out more how our Together for Change strategy is having an impact here.

The ongoing support from Sodexo has allowed the Trussell Trust to remain flexible and agile in continuing to support the food bank network to best help people and families in their communities in financial crisis.

This includes our operational teams providing bespoke one to one support to food banks and food banks in the network having access and support to a range of unique cloud-based systems.

The Trussell Trust also works with academics and researchers to understand the root causes of food bank referrals so we can then work with policy makers to push for changes that would better protect people from needing a food bank.

Sodexo employees make up the heart of the Stop Hunger Foundation and are the main force behind both their fundraising and volunteering efforts.  We are very much looking forward to seeing them support food banks in our network by helping to encourage customers offer food donations at the Summer Food Collection hosted by Tesco between 15 and 17 July.

Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “It’s not right that any of us are forced to a charity for food but food banks in our network have experienced record need during the pandemic.

“We are delighted the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation is supporting us in 2021 as we work towards our vision to end the need for food banks in the UK.  Generous support like this will be essential in helping to ensure food banks in our network are best equipped with the necessary tools to tackle poverty in their communities and Sodexo’s support with Help through Hardship will be central in providing this.”

Gareth John, Head of Trustees at the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, said: “We are pleased to be supporting Help through Hardship, as our aim at the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation is to tackle hunger, malnutrition and food security by supporting those most vulnerable in society. The work of Trussell Trust is essential in tackling the root causes of poverty, so our partnership is key in working towards this.”

We’re excited to have the continued support of Sodexo and together in partnership we’re making change happen to end the need for food banks in the UK.

Read more

The State of Hunger: It’s not right that disabled people are being forced to turn to food banks

Share this:

By Thomas Weekes, research manager at the Trussell Trust

This State of Hunger blog series digs into the reasons why people are forced to turn to food banks for support. Today we look at the link between disability and food bank use

More than six in ten (62%) working-age people referred to food banks in early 2020 were disabled.

That alone is shocking, but when you understand that it is more than three times the rate in the general population it is damning. (more…)

Read more

The State of Hunger: the debt crisis facing households at food banks

Share this:

This is the third blog in our series looking at the State of Hunger (2021), diving into key themes arising from the landmark study, and looking at their impact in focus. 

As our previous blogs have shown (here and here), people need to turn to food banks when they are forced to live on extremely low incomes. One of the many consequences of this, is the very high level of debt among people needing to turn to food banks. This creates a vicious circle for those individuals and families living on very low incomes who are forced to take on debt to pay for the essentials, with that debt in turn keeping them locked them in poverty.   (more…)

Read more

The State of Hunger: We must do more to support people who experience challenging life events, and people without support networks.

Share this:

Our previous blog looking at our State of Hunger research identified the design of the social security system as the main reason why people need support from food banks. This research also highlighted background factors that can increase the risk of people needing support. These include people who experience challenging life events (e.g. divorce, ill health, or eviction) or lack local support networks to keep them afloat during a crisis.

The experiences of some people involved in the State of Hunger research are included in this blog. Names have been changed to protect their anonymity. (more…)

Read more

The State of Hunger: Now is the time to make sure our social security system is strong enough for all of us when we need a lifeline

Share this:

By Tom Weekes, Research Manager

The Trussell Trust is calling for government at all levels to develop a plan for ending the need for food banks. Our State of Hunger research shows that the clearest place to start is ensuring that people have enough income to support themselves. Significant changes to our social security system are needed to ensure we all have a strong enough lifeline when we face hard times.

This blog explores the relationship between social security and need for food banks. The State of Hunger shows consistent evidence that the design of the social security system, and particularly the level of support that people receive is a key reason for why people need support from food banks. From applying to receiving support, the design of the system puts people at risk of hardship. (more…)

Read more

What’s happening at food banks as restrictions lift?

Share this:

By Lynda Battarbee, Director of Operations

Since the start of the pandemic, food banks have been incredibly busy: dramatically changing the way support is given so it’s safe and secure for all involved – including staff, volunteers, and people using the food bank; providing 2.5 million emergency parcels to people; supporting with vital research throughout the pandemic; and coming together to call for long-term change to address the issues driving food bank use.

Food banks have provided phenomenal support in their local communities during the pandemic and local people have rallied around them, providing essential food, financial donations, and volunteer support to ensure food banks could continue offering vital services to people in crisis. That support has been invaluable, and we should be encouraged by the way people have pulled together. (more…)

Read more

The inspiring stories of food bank volunteers

Share this:

We are always blown away by the incredible commitment of food bank volunteers. Faced with a year of change, face masks, and social distancing, the 28,000+ volunteers across the network have shown amazing resilience over the past year, adjusting to new ways of operating, moving to remote support, and processing unprecedented levels of donations and demand. Every day we are both inspired and humbled by the difference volunteers make, giving their time and expertise for free to help make us the best we can be.

As part of Volunteers’ Week, we’ve asked volunteers to share their stories and let us know what being a food bank volunteer means to them. Here’s what they told us: (more…)

Read more

Scottish Tech Army: celebrating volunteer partnerships

Share this:

As a charity, we hugely value the time, skills, and experience provided by the network’s 28,000 food bank volunteers. As part of our commitment to them, we launched a project in March 2020 to provide all of the food banks in the Trussell Trust network with access to Assemble, a volunteer management system. Assemble is a comprehensive volunteering system focused on empowering and supporting volunteers, streamlining processes, and celebrating the impact and contribution made by both individuals and teams.

We’re delighted to now have over 100 food banks up and running on Assemble, something we couldn’t have done without the support of the Scottish Tech Army. (more…)

Read more