What We Do

The Trussell Trust partners with local communities to help stop UK hunger.

Thirteen million people live below the poverty line in the UK, with individuals going hungry every day for a range of reasons, from benefit delays to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income.

The Trussell Trust’s 400-strong network of foodbanks provides a minimum of three days’ emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK. In 2016/17, we gave 1,182,954 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis.

We recognise that stopping hunger is about More Than Food, which is why we’re working with foodbanks to provide a range of new services like money advice and Fuel Banks, helping people to break the cycle of poverty.

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How do foodbanks work?

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Schools, churches, businesses and individuals donate non-perishable, in-date food to a foodbank. Large collections often take place as part of Harvest Festival celebrations and food is also collected at supermarkets.



Volunteers sort food to check that it’s in date and pack it into boxes ready to be given to people in need. Over 40,000 people give up their time to volunteer at foodbanks.



Foodbanks partner with a wide range of care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers and police to identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher.



Foodbank clients bring their voucher to a foodbank centre where it can be redeemed for three days’ emergency food. Volunteers meet clients over a warm drink or free hot meal and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problem.

More Than Food

Money Life

Debt and money management charities partner with foodbanks to offer professional financial advice at the point of crisis.

Eat Well Spend Less

Cookery and money management course teaching people how to cook healthily when on a low budget.

Holiday Clubs

Supporting families who find it difficult to manage without free school meals by running breakfast and holiday meal clubs.

Primary referral causes in 2016-2017 to Trussell Trust Foodbanks

Low Income (26,45%)


Benefit Delays (26.01%)


Benefit Changes (16.65%)


Other (8.98%)


Debt (7.78%)


Homeless (5.43%)


Sickness / Ill Health (2.89%)


No recourse to public funds (2.26%)


Domestic Abuse (1.43%)


Delayed Wages (0.97%)

- Other reasons: Child Holiday meals (0.79%), Refused STBA (0.41%), Unemployed* (0.03%)
* This shows data from 1 April to 5 May 2016 when it stopped being recorded as a main crisis cause

We need to ensure that people on low incomes or in insecure work have enough to live on. The introduction of a national living wage is a great start, but more can be done for those in low paid work and unable to work. We need to listen to the experiences of people facing hunger and poverty, and work to find solutions to this problem.

Over one million three-day food supplies given out by our foodbanks every year is one million too many. This must not become the new normal. Reducing UK hunger will require a collective effort from the voluntary sector, Government, DWP, businesses and the public, and The Trussell Trust is keen to work with all these groups to find solutions that stop so many people needing foodbanks in future.


Our social enterprises provide valuable volunteering opportunities, whilst also helping to support our work.

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Work continues in Bulgaria to help break the cycle of poverty. It’s managed by our in-country partner FSCI.

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