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Whatever impact the election has on hunger, for foodbanks it is a time for hope

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The morning after the general election, The Trussell Trust Twitter feed was full of people offering support for foodbanks. Ordinary, generous people are donating funds and food because they’re worried that we’ll see the need for emergency food rise due to reductions in welfare spending.

Foodbank managers are worried. We have seen in the past that the implementation of welfare reform sees increases in people facing hunger and turning to foodbanks. We know that we could see another rise in need. But what is the answer?

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Eleven foodbank myths you must not fall for

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1) Foodbanks only provide food

Trussell Trust foodbanks provide a lot more than food; that’s because we recognise that tackling hunger also means tackling the underlying cause of the crisis. Trussell Trust foodbanks signpost people to local agencies and charities who help people break out of poverty.

Over 90% of Trussell Trust foodbanks provide extras alongside emergency food: this can vary from toiletries and sanitary products, to baby basics; holiday clubs; CV clinics; and financial, welfare and housing advice. We’re currently partnering with Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis to pilot hosting financial and debt advisers in foodbanks. This extra level of support aims to help people during their immediate crisis, whilst also recognising that it can take more than food to help someone break out of their situation long term.

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We need to talk about stock cubes and hot water

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‘Client told me her & husb have stock cubes & mug of hot water for dinner 4 x week so that their kids can eat’ tweeted Rob McDowall, Director of the Scottish Welfare Support and Advice Network yesterday.

I’m asking myself the question, if the Sun wanted to write about food poverty and foodbanks, wasn’t this the story? Why did they choose instead to spend a week digging around actively trying to find something to discredit the UK’s biggest foodbank charity?

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This Easter let’s help turn suffering into hope and new life

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What comes to mind when we hear the word ‘foodbank’? My hunch is that you might think about last week’s opening question in the leaders debate, the donation point in your local supermarket or the cartoon about queues outside foodbanks in this week’s Times. I wonder if anyone reading this would immediately say ‘hope’.

But foodbanks do give hope. It’s one of the most common things people say to us when they’re at a point of crisis and have been helped: ‘you’ve given me the hope I needed to carry on’, ‘this is a lifeline’, ‘you’ve made me feel human.’

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Chris Mould responds to All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in Britain

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The APPG on food poverty and hunger’s seminal report goes beyond anything that’s been done before on the problem of hunger in Britain. This powerful cross-party document validates what the voluntary sector has been saying for a long time about the distressing reality of hunger in the UK, and it turns the spotlight on the specific problems that need addressing.

This important report could be a landmark document, but this depends on how we all respond. The report contains a host of well thought through recommendations. If acted on by all the key players, they would make a massive dent in the problem of hunger that haunts our society and blights the lives of many, many of our poorest citizens.

This document could turn the tide on a challenging problem which the Trussell Trust has been drawing attention to for over seven years, since first embarking on our Hidden Hunger awareness campaign.

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How ‘Feeding Britain’ could make a massive dent in the problem of hunger that haunts our society

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The All Party Parliamentary Group on food poverty and hunger’s seminal report goes beyond anything that’s been done before on the problem of hunger in Britain. This powerful cross-party document validates what the voluntary sector has been saying for a long time about the distressing reality of hunger in the UK, and it turns the spotlight on the specific problems that need addressing.

This important report could be a landmark document, but this depends on how we all respond. The report contains a host of well thought through recommendations. If acted on by all the key players, they would make a massive dent in the problem of hunger that haunts our society and blights the lives of many, many of our poorest citizens.

This document could turn the tide on a challenging problem which the Trussell Trust has been drawing attention to for over seven years, since first embarking on our Hidden Hunger awareness campaign.

But it does all depend.

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Food for thought – a poem by a foodbank client

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I know what it’s like to use the same teabag twice
To cut the mould from the bread, to rescue a slice
I didn’t ever think I would be in such a mess
While working full-time for a living, while suffering from illness and stress

I choose to work to pay my own way
But have no spare money at the end of the day
The cupboards and fridge are empty what else can I do?
Throwing my three elderly pets on the street?- It just wouldn’t do.

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We need to work together as a nation to help struggling families

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Come with me to a Trussell Trust foodbank for a couple of hours. Listen to people’s harrowing stories of their fight to make ends meet on the few pounds left over when the bills are paid, and how they’ve been going hungry to bridge the gap. Pick almost anywhere in the country: the Trussell Trust has a network of over 400 foodbanks and around 1,000 distribution centres.

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Lady’s poem describes foodbank experience

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A lady who turned to the foodbank after escaping from domestic violence and struggling to find subsequent employment was so moved by her experience of using the foodbank that she wrote a poem about it. Having worked all her life she was deeply embarrassed to have to ask the foodbank for help, but she says coming to the foodbank gave her hope and helped her to turn her life around. 

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