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How the compassion of strangers shaped my life

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I know it’s hard to get through life with dignity, courage and strength when your basic needs aren’t met.

My support for The Trussell Trust comes from a place of compassion – I hate the thought of people struggling to meet their basic needs in a country like Britain. It also comes from a place of understanding, just a tiny bit, what people who turn to foodbanks might be going through.

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We’ve joined the End Hunger UK big conversation – will you?

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As we approach the cold winter months and Christmas, it is time more than ever to remember the people who are going hungry on our doorstep. Trussell Trust foodbanks gave out 1.1 million emergency food supplies last year, and each of those foodbank visits tells a story of a person or family in crisis.

This is why we’re joining forces with 12 of the UK’s leading charities working with people affected by hunger to launch the End Hunger UK campaign. It starts with a Big Conversation, going on across the UK until March 2017. Individuals, foodbanks, food projects, local food networks and others are all invited to join in the Conversation and ask the question: What does our government need to do to End Hunger in the UK?

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Social supermarkets and foodbanks – tackling hunger and poverty together

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When asked about the rise of foodbanks and poverty in Britain, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said,

“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.”

The Trussell Trust is best known for its work running a network of foodbanks providing three days of emergency food and support to people in crisis in communities across the UK. A record 1.1 million of these parcels were given to people supported by our 420+ foodbank projects in the last year alone.  This is work we are proud of– but it’s shameful that it is necessary.  We need to ensure that people left desperate, with nowhere to turn, get the support they need.

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No food, no roof?

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A new report out today from housing charity Shelter lays bare a shocking reality foodbanks know only too well; many people are just one paycheck or unexpected bill away from being unable to afford basic essentials like food, rent and utilities.

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Why am I taking part in the Medtronic 10 mile run?

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I have held several high pressure, high profile jobs during my career, some very much in the public eye, some affecting national government policy. Running has always been where I go to think. Week in week out, no matter where in the world I am, I make space for the essential solitude running makes possible, clocking up an average 25 miles a week. Running always helps me regain my equilibrium after a particularly hard day. I often work through problems on a long run. That’s where I come up with new strategies and new ideas.

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Cost of poverty estimated at £78bn per year

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Today the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has revealed that the UK poverty costs the average taxpayer £1,200 a year. The charity’s new report, Counting the cost of UK poverty by Heriot-Watt and Loughborough Universities, has estimated the annual cost of poverty at £78 billion. The research suggests £1 in every £5 spent on public services is needed because of the impact and cost poverty has on people’s lives.

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West Cheshire Hunger Report

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“I had been with my partner for 13 years and we have two kids together. My relationship broke down and I lost everything that I’d worked for during the 13 years. I ended up homeless and was put in a shelter. Now I’ve got a room in a hostel… I have never been in this situation before and didn’t know what to do. Without the foodbank, I wouldn’t have anything at all.”

Justin features in #stillhungry, the West Cheshire Hunger Report, released today by West Cheshire Foodbank, Oxford University, and the University of Chester. The report analyses two years of data from more than 5,800 people referred to the foodbank by frontline professionals. People like Justin, who was helped to get back on his feet after losing everything.

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Neighbourhood Food Collection Summer 2016

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From 30th June to 2nd July, all Tesco stores hosted a food collection as part of the eighth Neighbourhood Food Collection, helping to support people struggling with hunger and poverty in local communities this summer.

As always, the response was overwhelming, with thousands of wonderful volunteers giving up their time to hand out shopping lists and collect food from the very generous public.

Here’s what happened during the fun-filled three-day event – prepare to be inspired!

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Neighbourhood Food Collection Superstars

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Over 20,000 people will volunteer this weekend with their local foodbank in Tesco stores for part of the Neighbourhood Food Collection. They’re giving up their time to help raise awareness of poverty in their community and collect essential items, so when local people in crisis are referred, the foodbank is able to offer that vital help.

We asked foodbank managers across the UK whether they could nominate any particularly brilliant ‘Neighbourhood Food Collection Superstars’ and we’re thrilled with the positive response – there are a lot of fantastic volunteers out there this weekend! Here are just a few of their stories…

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