When people are going without, it's time to...

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We've handed in our petition

Until we get an Essentials Guarantee, let’s stand with food banks.

Food banks across the UK are doing all they can to support their communities, but low levels of Universal Credit are pushing more and more people to their doors.

We know the solution is for our social security system to be fit for purpose. More than 150,000 of us stood together and signed our petition calling for an Essentials Guarantee. Read about the day we handed it in.

While we work together to make sure Universal Credit protects people from going without the essentials, our food banks are being stretched to breaking point. Please send them a message of support to help keep them going.

Send a message to our food banks
A food bank volunteer smiles and hands over bags of food to a visitor. They are wearing a blue patterned hijab and a black food bank top.

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.

From April, this is only £91 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.

Poverty is all around us, it is likely there will be people going hungry on your street, at your work, or someone you wave to on the school run. Many are trying to survive on ever decreasing budgets and that is why it is imperative that Universal Credit rates increase so that everyone can afford to buy the essentials.

Lynsey Agnew, CEO Lisburn Foodbank