When we provide nearly 3 million emergency food parcels, it's time to...

In the last financial year, food banks in the Trussell Trust network have seen the highest ever level of need, distributing close to 3 million (2,986,203) emergency food parcels — including more than a million to children. This is the most parcels the network has ever distributed in a single year.

Our social security system should support anyone in need of help, but right now it’s not providing enough income to cover the cost of life’s essentials, with most people at food banks in receipt of Universal Credit.

We’re calling on the UK government for an ‘Essentials Guarantee’ to make sure that the basic rate of Universal Credit is at least enough to afford the essentials we all need, such as food, household bills and travel costs.

90% of low-income households receiving Universal Credit are going without at least one essential like food, a warm home or toiletries.


Help us ensure everyone can afford life’s essentials

Please take action now and in just a couple of minutes you can email your MP and ask for their support for the Essentials Guarantee. Together we can send a clear message to all MPs that the basic rate of Universal Credit must at least be enough to afford the essentials we all need to get by.

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Join us in calling for an Essentials Guarantee

Email your MP

If you work or volunteer in a food bank in the Trussell Trust network please take this action instead

Email your MP

We need an Essentials Guarantee

The basic rate of Universal Credit should at least cover the cost of essentials like food, household bills and travel costs, but it is not currently set according to any objective assessment of what people need.

Right now, this is only £85 a week for a single adult. That means there’s a significant shortfall between people’s living costs and their income, which is forcing many to skip meals, switch off essential appliances such as fridges, and unable to pay essential bills.

That’s why we’re working with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to call for an Essentials Guarantee within Universal Credit, which means the basic rate at least covers life’s essentials and that support can never be pulled below that level. Read more on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation website.

The struggle of surviving on Universal Credit is making a huge impact on people’s mental and physical health as payments are well short of the amount needed to buy the essentials such as food, clothing, fuel and basic household items such as cleaning products and things like toothpaste. People are quite frankly scared, not knowing if they have enough money to get to the end of the month.

Becky Morgan, Project Manager Vale Foodbank