Helping the Trussell Trust to combat a food bank crisis

Foodbank volunteer giving advice to client

Helping the Trussell Trust to combat a food bank crisis

Published: 18 March 2024
A Crisis Response Grant of £100,000 from Benefact Trust is supporting Trussell Trust food banks across the UK, as more and more people struggle to make ends meet.
The Trussell Trust is an anti-poverty charity supporting more than 1,300 food bank centres, working with them to ensure that nobody has to go without the essentials. Sadly, one in seven people in the UK are facing hunger because they simply don’t have enough to live on. Between April 2022 and March 2023, Trussell Trust food banks provided almost three million emergency food parcels – the highest number ever recorded. 
 
The Trussell Trust is seeing people visit food banks because their incomes are too low; people with health conditions or relatives to care for aren’t getting the help that’s needed; and many jobs are insecure or don’t pay enough. The basic rate of Universal Credit, which was created to cover people’s essential living costs such as food, utilities and vital household goods, is currently at its lowest level in nearly 40 years.
 
While paid work can offer a route out of poverty, too often people still need to use food banks. 20% of people referred to food banks in the Trussell Trust network are in working households.
 
As the need increases, food banks are working flat-out to do everything they can to help. Unfortunately, the demand is outstripping food donations, so they’re buying more food at a time when prices are higher than ever. A 2023 survey reported that 32% of food banks felt concerned about being able to continue running at their current level in the coming months.
 
The toughest time yet for communities and the foodbanks supporting them:
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Together, with our funding support, the Trussell Trust is working to change things by making sure that food banks can keep their doors open, and by driving change in communities so people are less likely to need food banks in the future.
 
Benefact Trust’s £100,000 grant could enable the Trussell Trust to provide programmes, such as:
 
Crisis support grants to nine food banks, giving them support through the busiest year yet.
Advice to more than 750 people in the form of free, tailored and specific counsel through the national Help through Hardship Helpline.
Delivery of support that helps to secure £450,000 in extra income for people facing poverty and a total of over £2 million over the next five years. 
 
These grants help ensure food banks can stay open for people by supporting the rising costs of food and provisions, energy, transport and warehousing. 
 
The Trussell Trust also knows how essential advice and support is to people in crisis, helping them to tackle issues that force them to need a food bank in the first place. Over the last year in England and Wales, The Trussell Trust worked with Citizens Advice to handle more than 145,000 calls and helped 44,000 people through the Help through Hardship Helpline.
 
Paul Playford, Senior Grants and Operations Officer for Benefact Trust, said: “This year many families will face extreme hardships as the cost of living continues to soar. As people become more dependent on the generosity of food banks, we want to support these centres so that they can continue to provide a lifeline to those who are struggling to afford the essentials.
 
“We’re delighted to partner with the Trussell Trust through our Crisis Response Grants Programme to not only provide funding to food banks, but to help the charity tackle the root of the problem and deliver advice and support to people facing poverty.”
 
Sophie Carre, Director of Public Engagement at the Trussell Trust, said: “As we continue to see an increasing number of people struggling to get by, and having to turn to a food bank for support, we’re extremely grateful to Benefact Trust for their support. 
 
“This generous grant will help ensure that our network of food banks can continue to provide much-needed support and guidance in their communities, as we continue to work towards a future where everyone can afford the essentials.”
 
Benefact Trust's Crisis Response Grants programme is a closed grants programme, partnering with frontline organisations to deliver vital support during times of crisis, in the UK and overseas. Find out more about our open grants programmes
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Foodbank workers looking at food stock

Images: The Trussell Trust Brent Foodbank ©️ Chris Lacey Photography


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