We must act now to protect people from needing emergency food.

As winter approaches and the effects of coronavirus continue to trap people in poverty, food banks in the Trussell Trust network are forecast to give out a staggering six emergency food parcels every minute. This is not right. 

Our new research, carried out with Heriot Watt University, estimates 846,000 parcels will need to be provided by our network to people in crisis during October to December 2020 – a 61% increase on last year. And an additional 670,000 people will be destitute by the end of the year, meaning they cannot afford essentials like housing, energy, and food.  

When the pandemic first hit, there was a significant increase in the number of people receiving support from a food bank in the Trussell Trust network for the first time. 

Over 50% of people using food banks in our network at the start of the pandemic had never needed one before.

72% of people at food banks this summer live with someone who is experiencing a mental health issue.

Families have been the hardest hit, accounting for nearly two in five households needing to use a food bank.

We’re calling on the government to make changes now to create a system where no one is left behind this winter. We know what needs to happen to make sure people have enough money for the essentials and with unemployment expected to rise as the furlough scheme winds down, it’s vital that we act now. 

The government’s Comprehensive Spending Review and Budget this autumn is a crucial opportunity to ensure support is there for anyone who needs it. We need the government to make sure an effective safety net exists for everyone by: 

  • Protecting people’s incomes by locking in the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit brought in at the beginning of the pandemic 
  • Helping people hold onto more of their income by suspending government deductions to benefit payments and introducing a fairer approach to repayments for things like Advance Payments 
  • Making local safety nets as strong as possible by investing £250 million in local welfare assistance in England annually

Together, we have an opportunity to build a future where all of us have enough money for the essentials, where no one is left behind, where support is there for anyone who needs it. Together, we can act now to make a difference.