Posts in 'News'

Jason Manford releases charity single to support Emergency Fund Appeal

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Comedian Jason Manford has released a charity single to raise funds and awareness for our Emergency Fund Appeal, which is helping food banks keep going this winter.

The single, Assembly Bangers, has been performed as the finale during Jason’s recent sold-out UK tour, and is a dance track featuring songs sung in school assemblies for decades. It includes This Little Light of Mine, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, When I Needed a Neighbour, Lord of the Dance, and Sing Hosanna. (more…)

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Almost 1.3 million emergency parcels provided in last 6 months

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  • New figures from the Trussell Trust show more emergency food parcels were given out during the April to September period than ever before
  • Over the last six months, 320,000 people have been forced to turn to food bank in the Trussell Trust network for first time
  • New research finds one in five people referred to food bank in the Trussell Trust network are in working households
  • The charity is urging the UK government to take immediate action as food banks face ‘breaking point’
  • Volunteers set for busiest winter yet as levels of need outstrip donations 

New figures released today by the Trussell Trust reveal that 1.3m emergency food parcels were provided to people between April and September this year by food banks in the charity’s UK network and almost half a million of these went to children. (more…)

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Forty percent of people claiming Universal Credit skipping meals to survive, new research from the Trussell Trust reveals

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  • One in five (21%) people were unable to cook hot food this summer as they couldn’t afford to use the cooker, while almost a quarter (23%) have been unable to travel to work or essential appointments because they couldn’t afford the cost of public transport or fuel, the charity says
  • The research finds almost two-thirds (64%) of Universal Credit claimants had to spend July’s first Cost of Living payment from government on food
  • This starkly shows the support package has not been enough to protect people from harm or tackle soaring bills, the charity warns, as it calls on new Prime Minister to urgently provide more support

The Trussell Trust has published new research highlighting the devastating impact the cost of living crisis is having on people forced to survive on the lowest incomes. (more…)

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Food banks provide more than 2.1 million food parcels to people across the UK in past year, according to new figures released by the Trussell Trust 

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  • The charity says it’s witnessing an accelerating crisis across the UK as the need for emergency food dramatically increased in the past six months. This follows the £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit and the soaring rise in living costs that people are facing
  • More than 830,000 parcels were provided for children
  • This is set to get worse as the cost of living crisis continues, the charity warns, as it calls for the UK government to act now and help prevent hundreds of thousands more families being forced to the doors of food banks

New figures released today reveal food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network provided more than 2.1 million parcels to people facing financial hardship across the country, from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022.

This represents a 14% increase compared to the same period in 2019/20 – before the pandemic –  as more and more people are unable to afford the absolute essentials that we all need to eat, stay warm, dry and clean.

This is the first time food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network have provided more than 2 million parcels, outside of 2020/21, at the height of the pandemic.

Alarmingly, more than 830,000 parcels were provided for children, representing a 15% increase from 2019/20 when 720,000 were provided.

The Trussell Trust says food banks in its network experienced their busiest winter outside of 2020 at the height of the pandemic, providing 1.2 million parcels in the second half of the year alone (from October to the end of March).

That is more parcels than were provided for the whole year of 2016/17, just five years ago.

Food bank managers are also now warning of an accelerating crisis across the UK following the cut to Universal Credit, as the cost of living continues to soar. Need for food banks in the Trussell Trust network has accelerated throughout the past six months:

  • July – September 2021 saw a 10% increase in comparison to the same period in 2019
  • October – December 2021 saw a 17% increase in comparison to the same period in 2019
  • January – February 2022 saw a 22% increase in comparison to the same period in 2020

As inflation continues to increase and rising bills are putting pressure on families across the country, the Trussell Trust says its network expects need for emergency food to rise further still, over the coming months and beyond. 2

One food bank manager said:

“The people who come in are telling me they’re scared. People are beside themselves about what the next six months will bring.”

Even though one in three people on Universal Credit are already skipping meals, the charity says the UK government is still choosing not to protect people already struggling to make ends meet.

The UK government has failed to create any security for people on the lowest incomes, allowing the value of social security to fall dramatically in real terms while prices rise, the charity warns.

In October the Chancellor removed £20 a week from low-income families across the country, the largest cut to welfare since the Second World War.

And in his Spring Statement he rejected calls for benefits to be brought in line with the current rate of inflation to better reflect the true cost of living, the charity highlights.

This is on top of a five-year freeze on benefits rates which means these payments are worth 11% less than they were a decade ago.

With the energy price cap rise just starting to bite, the charity says for most people at risk from financial hardship – who cannot work or work longer hours due to disability, caring responsibilities or mental health issues – there is very little protection ahead.

Food bank staff and volunteers will always do all they can to help people in their communities, they do this every day – but they cannot and should not be picking up the pieces of government inaction, particularly with a crisis of this scale.

Tim, 36, from London works in a high street shop and is also in receipt of Universal Credit. As the cost of living continues to soar, he’s worried about how he’s going to make ends meet.

Tim said: “I’m really worried about what the next few months could be like as the cost of living gets higher and higher. I’m trying to make the best out of the situation but have already had to use a food bank.

“I’ve also made the decision not to turn my heating on to save money and to go without certain types of food. For things to change, the government needs to increase the amount of social security payments so that everyone can afford to put food on the table.”

The Trussell Trust says there is still time for politicians to turn this situation around.

It says governments at all levels must use their powers and take urgent action now to strengthen our social security system so it keeps up with the true cost of living and helps prevent hundreds of thousands more families being forced through the doors of food banks.

For the UK government, that means as a first step increasing benefits payments by at least 7%, so more people are able to afford the essentials we all need in life to get by.

The charity says in the longer term, the government must introduce a commitment in the benefits system to ensure that everyone has enough money in their pockets to be prevented from falling into destitution – which means not being able to afford the essentials we all need to eat, stay warm and clean.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “People are telling us they’re skipping meals so they can feed their children. That they are turning off essential appliances so they can afford internet access for their kids to do their homework. 

“How can this be right in a society like ours? And yet food banks in our network tell us this is only set to get worse as their communities are pushed deeper into financial hardship. No one’s income should fall so dangerously low that they cannot afford to stay fed, warm and dry.

“There is still time for the UK government to do the right thing. We are calling on the UK government to bring benefits in line with the true cost of living.

“As an urgent first step benefits should be increased by at least 7%, keeping pace with increases in the cost of living. In the longer term, we need the government to introduce a commitment in the benefits system to ensure that everyone has enough money in their pockets to be prevented from falling into destitution.”

“By failing to make benefits payments realistic for the times we face, the government now risks turning the cost of living crisis into a national emergency.” 

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Number of emergency food parcels distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust network in 2019/20 and 2021/22

1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020 1 April 2021 – 31 March 2022 Percentage change
To adults To children Total To adults To children Total To adults To children Total
United Kingdom 1,185,089 724,067 1,909,156 1,341,049 832,109 2,173,158 13% 15% 14%

 

  • In 2021/22 these parcels were distributed by 1,630 distribution centres operating in 293 local authorities across the UK.
  • Between October 2021 and the end of March 2022 food banks in the Trussell Trust network distributed 1,208,674 emergency food parcels – more than for the entirety of 2016/17 (1,201,286)
  • One in three people (33%) receiving Universal Credit had more than one day in the last month where they didn’t eat at all or had only one meal. This research is based on an online survey by YouGov of 1,506 UK adults (18+) currently claiming Universal Credit. People were surveyed between 24 January – 15 February 2022.
  • ‘Emergency food parcel’: this typically is a three-day parcel containing emergency food for one person. Since early 2020 crisis food banks have also been distributing seven-day parcels. For this release the Trussell Trust have simply combined both three-day and seven-day parcels together to report the total number of emergency food parcels that were distributed.
  • Need for emergency food is driven by a lack of income. The Trussell Trust’s State of Hunger research shows that 94% of people referred to food banks are destitute, meaning they don’t have enough income to buy the essentials that we all need. State of Hunger
  • Figures from the Trussell Trust network cannot be used to fully explain the scale of food bank use and wider food insecurity across the UK. The Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) has identified at least 1,172 independent food banks while there are also Salvation Army food banks as well as food banks run from schools and some universities and hospitals. There are also thousands of other food aid providers including soup kitchens and social supermarkets.

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 1,400 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/

 

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The Trussell Trust responds to the Spring Statement

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

 

“Today the Chancellor has failed to create any security for people on the lowest incomes by failing to bring benefits payments in line with the true cost of living in the Spring Statement. This decision has created a real-terms cut to social security payments, which remain dangerously insufficient. 

 

“People are already making impossible decisions between heating and eating, and we know people are skipping meals, unable to afford to run cookers and fridges and taking on debt to buy the essentials. This is not right.

 

“This decision will mean many more people will have no option but to use a food bank. By failing to make benefits payments realistic for the times we face, the government is risking turning the cost of living crisis into an emergency. People cannot afford to wait another year for this to be reviewed. Action to rectify this situation and strengthen our social security system needs to happen immediately.”  

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Two in five Brits receiving Universal Credit forced into debt this winter as payments failed to cover soaring cost of living, says the Trussell Trust

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  • One in six people who receive Universal Credit needed to visit a food bank at least once since the start of December, according to new research

  • Almost 2m people were currently going without food, while others were living in cold conditions as they couldn’t afford to power and heat their homes

  • The charity is calling on UK government to urgently bring benefit levels in line with the rate of inflation as a bare minimum this Spring Statement to help prevent more people being forced into debt and to food banks

The Trussell Trust says new research has revealed the true and devastating consequences of the current cost of living crisis, with hundreds of thousands of families across the country struggling to get by.

A new online YouGov poll of people claiming Universal Credit shows two in five (40%) Brits receiving Universal Credit have been forced into debt this winter just to eat and pay bills.

One in six people surveyed (17%) needed to visit a food bank at least once since the start of December.

One in three (33%) people receiving Universal Credit had more than one day in the last month where they didn’t eat at all or had only one meal, while one in three people (33%) surveyed have not been able to heat their home for more than four days across the last month because they couldn’t afford to.

The charity also worked with Humankind research to interview 48 people who told researchers debt forces them into a downward spiral for their finances, their family and their mental health.

Dee, 60 from Aberdeen, worked in the building sector but was made redundant and now receives Universal Credit She said:

“It’s just so disheartening to think that I’m in debt through no fault of my own. It still won’t be paid off until I’m well into my pension. It’s causing me ongoing stress to feel like I’m never getting to the end of it. It’s overwhelming and really drags me down.”

This is the true cost of the rising price of essentials for people on the lowest incomes – people already facing impossible decisions such as heating or eating, with many having to take on debt just to get by.

People said they were unable to afford to get to work or get children to school, some said they have mould growing in their home because they can’t afford the heating, some were turning off their fridges to save money and several people highlighted an imminent risk of homelessness.

This situation is only set to get worse, says the charity, with inflation set to hit at least 7% this April.

The UK government is due to increase benefit levels by just 3.1% – less than half what’s needed to even begin to make up the shortfall. This increase amounts to just a £2 a week rise, which the charity highlights as ‘dangerously insufficient’ in light of the soaring living costs people are facing.

Worryingly, this comes on top of the £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit introduced in November and a five-year freeze on benefits rates which means these payments are worth 11% less than they were a decade ago.

The charity is calling on the UK government to increase benefits by at least 7% this April as a bare minimum, to bring them in line with the true rate of inflation and help prevent pushing more and more people into debt with no way out.

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

“Right now, the cost of living is forcing hundreds of thousands of families across the country into a downward spiral of debt just to get by. People are telling us they’re going days with minimal food, are having to endure the cold to save money and are being forced to turn to food banks with devastating effects on people’s mental health. Social security should be protecting people from debt and food banks – not pushing them towards it.

“This isn’t right. We know the situation is only set to get worse and we cannot wait any longer.

“That’s why we are calling on the UK Government to bring benefits in line with the forecast rate of inflation as a bare minimum in the upcoming Spring Statement, to prevent thousands more people being forced into debt and through the doors of food banks. Longer term, it is vital we strengthen our social security system so it protects us all from harm and invest in local crisis support so no one needs to use a food bank to get by.”

The Trussell Trust is urging the public to write to your local MP, asking the Chancellor to take action and make social security strong enough for all of us to rely on when we need a lifeline.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

 

  1. The research is based on an online survey by YouGov of 1,506 adults (18+) currently claiming Universal Credit. People were surveyed between 24 January – 15 February 2022.
  2. The figures have been weighted to be representative of people claiming Universal Credit. All weighting data provided by the Trussell Trust from Stat-Xplore.
  3. Figures on the proportion of people falling into debt are the Trussell Trust’s own analysis of data collected by YouGov.
  4. Figures on the percentage of people needing support from a food bank do not include those that solely used a food bank because they couldn’t physically access food.
  5. Estimates of the number of people are the Trussell Trust’s own analysis. They are calculated by taking Department for Work and Pensions data from State-Xplore on the number of people aged 16+ claiming Universal Credit in Great Britain in January 2022 and data from the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland in November 2021 and multiplying by the survey results. These figures do not include children.
  6. Inflation figures take into account multiple forecasts of rates increasing beyond 7%.
  7. The total number of people aged 16+ in Great Britain claiming Universal Credit in January 2022 was 5,627,477. In Northern Ireland in November 2021 there were 132,580.

Other detailed information on question wording and results available from the Trussell Trust on request

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Ant & Dec Team Up With The 3 Winners Of Drag Race UK For A Charity Single In Aid Of The Trussell Trust

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‘We Werk Together’ – Ant & Dec, The Vivienne, Lawrence Chaney & Krystal Versace join forces to support the Trussell Trust!  

Out Now! 

 

There’s some new Queens in town! 

Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway returned tonight to ITV and ended their first show with a spectacular ‘End Of The Show Show’ featuring the three winners of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. 

Ant & Dec transformed into their drag alter egos Lady Antoinette and Miss Donna Lee to team up with The Vivienne, Lawrence Chaney and Krystal Versace for ‘We Werk Together’, a brand new song written especially for the show. 

Now the track is available as a single to stream and download. Net proceeds from audio streams and downloads will be donated to the Trussell Trust. 

‘We Werk Together’ is a storming and uplifting dance pop song brimming with positivity, written by Ian Masterson, the musical director of Strictly Come Dancing. 

Watch the show-stopping performance featuring Ant & Dec in drag on Saturday Night Takeaway here: 

  

 

Download the track here!

 

We are hugely grateful to Ant and Dec and Drag Race UK who, as well as kindly donating the proceeds of their song in support of the Trussell Trust, are helping to shine a spotlight on the issues that are driving people to food banks. 

 

 

Copyright ITV

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Autumn budget 2021: our response

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Garry Lemon, Director of Policy and Research at the Trussell Trust:

“Today the Chancellor has made a choice that is a far cry from his ‘age of optimism’, for people on the very lowest incomes. While we welcome the reduction in the taper rate which means some families can keep more of their earnings, this cannot make up for the £20 a week cut to Universal Credit. This is the largest cut to social security since the Second World War and is a devastating blow to millions of families across the UK already struggling to make ends meet. People are now facing impossible decisions, struggling to put food on the table or heat their homes.   

“A lower taper rate and higher minimum wage will not benefit the majority of people forced to food banks who are between jobs or cannot work due to disability or childcare.   

“No-one should have to turn to charity to afford the essentials needed to survive. If the Chancellor wants to ‘level up’ across the UK he must make good on his statement that ‘everyone should be able to afford the essentials.’ The answer must be to urgently invest in longer-term local welfare support and create a stronger social security system for everyone who needs it this winter and beyond.” 

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Trussell Trust response to the National Food Strategy report

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Garry Lemon, Director of Policy and Research at the Trussell Trust, said:

“Today sees the launch of the National Food Strategy, a government-commissioned independent review into the food system. As the report recommends, it’s right the government should consider widening access to vital support, such as ensuring children of migrants with No Recourse to Public Funds – meaning they cannot receive support from the social security system – can continue to receive free school meals.

“But as this review makes clear, the goal should be for everyone to have enough money in their pockets to afford decent food. To do this at the very least we need to make sure our social security system allows everyone to have enough money for the essentials. The government must start by not cutting Universal Credit by £20 a week this October. (more…)

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Budget 2021: our response

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer has set out the government’s spending plans in today’s Budget. The full details of these are available here.

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

“Today’s Budget has failed to give security to families on the lowest incomes by refusing to extend the Universal Credit uplift for the full, difficult year ahead. While it’s right the government extended the uplift by six months, this short-term fix does not address the serious hardship and uncertainty families will face when it is removed in September.

“We know removing the uplift could drive more than one million people to food banks and many more people are expected to need Universal Credit as unemployment rises.

“This isn’t right. We know this can change. We and our partners are urgently calling on the Chancellor to re-think and extend the uplift to 12 months at the very least, preventing people up and down the country from being swept into poverty in the wake of the pandemic.

“It’s time to build a better future together, taking action to create a stronger, more just society where everyone can afford the basics.”

Ends

For more information contact the Trussell Trust Press Office at 020 3137 3699 or [email protected]

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