Posts in 'News'

Trussell Trust response to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement

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‘The Chancellor’s Spring Statement today offers an economy that works for some, but not all. The evidence from foodbanks is clear – for people who could struggle to find or cannot manage full time employment, the economy isn’t working. Disabled people and those with health issues are over-represented in foodbanks, along with families with children – especially single parents.

We urge the Chancellor to address these issues in the Budget later this year, specifically by unfreezing and uprating in line with inflation rates levels of child tax credits and child benefits in Universal Credit, and by ensuring work pays for parents as the new system rolls out by allowing families to keep more of what they earn. Reversing cuts to disability benefits and improving financial support for people on disabilities on Universal Credit will also help ensure fewer people need a foodbank referral in the future.’

Garry Lemon, Head of External Affairs

Read more about our research and advocacy work here, and read our groundbreaking research with the University of Oxford and Kings College, London, here.

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Asda, The Trussell Trust and Fareshare launch £20 million partnership to help a million people out of food poverty

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We are thrilled to announce a new partnership between Asda, The Trussell Trust and FareShare in a three year programme that will prove transformative for people facing hunger in our communities. The Fight Hunger Create Change programme will give support directly to foodbanks across the UK to expand their services to help more people in crisis, and enable us to develop our More Than Food projects, such as holidays clubs and Eat Well Spend Less courses, that help build resilience so people are less likely to need a foodbank in the future. And in partnership with FareShare it will also create a delivery structure of fresh food to foodbanks. (more…)

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Chris Mould steps down from The Trussell Trust Board of Trustees

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Chris has been an integral part of The Trussell Trust from the early days, helping to steer it from a small local charity to one which has a major impact in the UK serving those in poverty. During his time he has been passionate about this and also the work which started in Bulgaria, the initial reason for the formation of the Trust. Chris has been a trustee since 2003, several of those as Chair of the Board during the time of rapid expansion of the foodbank network.

He has decided it is time for him to step back from The Trussell Trust to allow him to concentrate on his work with the Foundation for Social Change and Inclusion which now operates in The Balkans as well as in Bulgaria, continuing the work started back in 1997.

Liz Pollard, Chair of Trustees said:

“Chris has been instrumental in shaping The Trussell Trust into an organisation that now provides a lifeline for tens of thousands of people in crisis across the UK each year through our network of foodbanks. It has been a privilege to work alongside him and I wish him all the best as he pursues new challenges in the future.”

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The Trussell Trust appoints a new Chief Executive

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Emma comes with a wealth of experience in the charity sector and is passionate about finding a long-term solution to help the growing number of people who are struggling to put food on the table.

A message from Emma:

“I am delighted to be appointed as Chief Executive of The Trussell Trust. The work of our foodbank network is inspiring and I relish the opportunity to work alongside them to tackle poverty and to end hunger in the UK. We face significant challenges ahead with the number of food parcels distributed by our network up by 13% in the first 6 months of this year to 587,000, with 209,000 going to children. 

“I want to see the end of the need for emergency food services in our country, to work with Government to ensure that our benefits system provides a genuine safety net for people and work is paid a fair wage, allowing individuals and families to thrive rather than just stave off crisis.

“Although the recent Budget marked a positive step forward, there is still much more to be done and I look forward to working with our staff and foodbank network to bring further change.”

 

Elizabeth Pollard, Chair of the Board of Trustees at The Trussell Trust said:

“I am delighted to announce that Emma Revie has been appointed to be the new Chief Executive of The Trussell Trust.

“Over the past year alone foodbanks in our network have helped hundreds of thousands of men, women and children referred to them in crisis, and demand is rising. With her enormously impressive track record, we are convinced that Emma has the vision and experience to lead The Trussell Trust through these challenges. 

“Through providing emergency food we will continue to help families and individuals at the point of crisis, while building more holistic ‘More Than Food’ services to give people the tools to build resilience. And we will continue to research, campaign and advocate for political solutions to the poverty that is forcing so many people through our doors in the first place.”

Emma, who joins us from Ambition, a national membership body for organisations working with young people, will take up her role in February 2018.

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The Trussell Trust responds to The Budget

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Following the announcement of today’s Budget our Interim Chief Executive, Mark Ward, responds.

“We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement today of a package to address concerns around the operational delivery of Universal Credit. Cutting the waiting time by seven days, modifying the advance payment system, and ensuring that people will continue receiving housing benefit for two weeks after moving onto the new system, will ease the pressure on thousands of households on very low incomes who would otherwise have been thrown into crisis applying for Universal Credit.

“This decision shows that Government is listening to and acting on the evidence from foodbanks that have been tirelessly supporting people waiting too long for their payments, whilst also building the case for why that wait pushes people further into poverty and hunger.

“Foodbanks tell us there’s more to be done – poor administration within Universal Credit is pushing people into crisis and more widely, the benefits freeze is further squeezing stretched incomes. However this is a positive step in the right direction and we look forward to more detail from the Secretary of State tomorrow.”

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Why we welcome the new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Foodbanks

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There are a lot of foodbanks in the UK. The Trussell Trust network of foodbanks encompasses more than 1,200 distribution centres, while the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) has counted a further 714 independent foodbanks right across the UK.

That’s thousands of ordinary people, mostly volunteers, who give up their time to help their neighbours in a time of crisis with food generously donated by the public. In fact we worked alongside our friends at IFAN to calculate that volunteers contribute more than 4 million hours in support to UK foodbanks every year.

(more…)

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British Airways starts a nationwide food collection for The Trussell Trust

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The British Airways Community Investment programme is coordinating a food collection for local Trussell Trust foodbanks from all its staff bases. The appeal runs from 6th November until 8th December. Staff are focusing on those food items most needed at their local foodbank and are also allowed time to volunteer at foodbanks over this period.

Winter can be a busy time for our foodbanks, and the very basic items that people take for granted are often something that foodbanks are in desperate need of. We’re concerned the current situation will only get worse in the months leading to Christmas when demand for emergency food traditionally spikes.

British Airways have been supporting our Slough and West Drayton foodbanks for some time, but their kind support has now spread across the UK. Sue Sibany-King, Foodbank Manager at Slough said: “It’s great news that British Airways has extended what is already a strong relationship with the rest of the UK. Now a lot more foodbanks in the Trussell Trust Network can benefit from the generosity of British Airways employees.”

Sue continued to say that: “Here at Slough foodbank, we aim to create an understanding and non-judgemental space for our clients to visit. A hot drink, a few biscuits and a chat can make a huge difference to our clients.’ We would like to extend our thanks to British Airways for supporting people in crisis.

We would love to hear your stories about how the collection is going on in your office. Share your pictures across Twitter and Facebook using #FlyingStart. Check back here soon to see how much you have collected!

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Observer Food Monthly Awards – Outstanding Achievement

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Photograph: Adrian Sherratt for the Observer

We are delighted to announce that our work to help people facing food poverty has been nationally recognised. On Thursday 12th October, we were honoured to receive the Observer Food Monthly Award for Outstanding Achievement. Observer columnist Jay Rayner and television personality and food writer Nigella Lawson co-hosted this year’s celebrations.

The awards, which are now in their 14th year, are voted for by both readers and a judging panel.  Speaking on receiving the award, Elizabeth Pollard, Chair of Trustees said: ‘We are so proud of how hard everyone works to stop people going hungry, and grateful to every donor and supporter who contributes to making that work possible. We also thank the Observer for recognising everyone’s contribution and highlighting the work that needs to be done.”

For the full story, as featured in The Guardian at the weekend, click here: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/15/ofm-awards-2017-outstanding-achievement-trussell-trust-food-banks

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The Trussell Trust calls for a pause to the roll-out of Universal Credit

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Mark Ward, Interim CEO said:

“Universal Credit has the potential to be transformative: we welcome the intention to simplify a previously complicated system and make work pay. However, in its current form, we fear it is doing more harm than good for some of our country’s most vulnerable people.  

Foodbanks tell us that Universal Credit is inadvertently leaving people without any money for six or more weeks, leading to debt, rental arrears, and poor mental health. People in seasonal or insecure work are finding it difficult to budget as they don’t know how much they’ll get paid next month. It’s led to one foodbank seeing a 67% increase in their referrals, and another has been working flat out to help people with their claims. We are concerned this will only get worse as winter approaches and more pressure will be put on stretched voluntary groups left to step in and help in the absence of other practical support.

Work to amend Universal Credit’s design and tackle poor administration in the system is needed before it can be rolled out effectively: reducing the 6-week wait for a first payment and providing more support through programmes like Universal Support would make a real difference to people navigating the new system.

In the absence of this, we support Citizens Advice’s call for a pause to the roll-out of Universal Credit, particularly until appropriate emergency financial support is available and accessible to all people left with no income or food in the cupboard.”

 

You can read more about the impact foodbanks are reporting following Universal Credit roll-out in their area in our report, Early Warnings, or in our submission to the Work and Pensions Select Committee in September 2017.

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