This Lent, let’s not give up the fight to end
hunger and poverty in the UK
Chocolate, coffee, sugar, social media or box sets; whatever you may or may not choose to give up, please don’t give up the fight to create a future where food banks are no longer needed.
We’re seeing the highest ever need in food banks
We’re a country that prides itself on making sure proper support is in place for each other when help is most needed. But last year we saw the highest ever need in food banks, with our network providing more than 1.3 million emergency food supplies to people in crisis – almost half a million of these went to children. This is a 13% increase on the previous year.
As a nation, we expect no one should be left hungry or destitute. It’s hard to break free from hunger if there isn’t enough money coming in to cover the rising cost of absolute essentials like food and housing. For too many people staying above water is a daily struggle. It’s completely unacceptable that anyone is forced to turn to a food bank as a result.
We’re committed to challenging the structural issues that lock people into poverty. Your support can help us focus our support on ensuring that people who we know are most at risk of being pulled into poverty are properly protected, long before they need a food bank’s help.
Food banks are picking up the pieces
It is not right that anyone should need to turn to a food bank for help. No charity can replace the dignity of having enough money to buy your own food.
But people, just like Andrew and Michelle, are being forced to visit a food bank for vital, emergency support. Andrew and his family experienced an income shock after their daughter’s disability payment was significantly reduced and they were moved on to the new benefits system, Universal Credit. They had to wait five weeks before their first payment and they struggled to cover the costs of essentials and became overdrawn. Andrew said:
‘Being self-employed has its peaks and troughs; you can have a good month and then a bad month. Until we received the letter about our top up benefits moving over to Universal Credit, we had managed our budget perfectly well for several years. We took the children on a camping holiday in the summer and then all of a sudden we couldn’t afford to buy food.’
Their friends and family rallied to help them and they also received practical advice from their local food bank on available support.
Andrew said: ‘When our circumstances changed, we didn’t know where to go to ask questions and get answers. You don’t know what you’re entitled to so it creates an anxiety on top of the financial stress. That was the most difficult part for me.’
With the support of the Trussell Trust and their friends, Andrew and Michelle were able to overcome their crisis. With a renewed sense of hope, they have been able to adjust to their new circumstances and have not needed to visit a food bank again.
It doesn’t have to be like this
Thanks to the kindness of our supporters, we’ve already made huge advances in our fight to end hunger in the UK. We’ve supported food banks to deliver a wide range of practical, compassionate support to help anchor people from being swept into poverty. We’ve campaigned for urgent reforms and investment into the structural issues that lock people into poverty. We’ve organised national food collections to ensure food banks have enough donations to support the increasing need.
But there’s still a lot to do to help people like Michelle and Andrew.
Join the fight to end the need for food banks
Whether you’re giving up something this Lent or not, we want to ensure that no one gives up the fight against hunger and poverty in the UK. In the run up to Easter, we’re urging the nation to come together and be united in the goal to end the need for food banks in the UK.
Give a one-off donation
Big or small, your gift today will enable us to make huge advances in our fight against hunger and poverty in the UK.
Your donation will help end hunger and poverty in the UK
With your help we are committed to providing emergency food and support, while also campaigning for long term change. Together we can create a future in which no one needs a food bank’s help.
Your donation will help us to continue fighting UK hunger and poverty in three key ways:
Our network of over 1,200 food banks centres provide the best possible emergency food to people locked in poverty
More than food
Our food bank network helps people break free from poverty by providing additional, compassionate, practical support that resolves the crises they face
We bring together high quality evidence from hundreds of communities across the UK to challenge the structural issue that sweep people into poverty and campaign for long term change