Since we launched our partnership with the Trussell Trust in October 2020, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve now raised £100,000 to support their invaluable work through sales of our Keep It Clean Hand Sanitiser and Helping Hands Collection.
We believe, just like the Trussell Trust, that it’s time to build a better future together and take action to create a stronger, more just society where everyone can afford the basics. The economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic have only made more visible a gaping disparity in levels of food insecurity in the UK, and the trust’s network of food banks around the country is hard at work every day to help support those suffering from this inequity.
The need for food banks is evidently correlated with the devastating effect Covid-19 has had on many livelihoods. In the first six months of the pandemic, the number of people receiving unemployment benefits doubled and figures have shown that the brunt of the economic and health consequences of the pandemic have not been distributed evenly across society, strengthening existing socioeconomic inequalities.
People identifying as Black or Black British are almost twice as likely (27% vs. 14%) to be reported as experiencing food insecurity than people identifying as white. People identifying as of mixed ethnicity are similarly more likely to be classified as food insecure (28% vs. 14%).
Likewise, both physical and mental health problems are linked to needing support from a food bank. People in bad or very bad health are more than twice as likely to be experiencing food insecurity (40% vs. 16%) and nearly four times more likely to be experiencing severe food insecurity (27% vs. 7%) than the national average.
During the pandemic, food banks in the Trussell Trust network have also seen a significant increase in the number of parcels that have been distributed to children. The figures released in March 2021 show that families with children are twice as likely to be food insecure (23% vs. 12%) than households with no children. Similarly, they are more than twice as likely to be severely food insecure (11% vs. 5%).
Aneita was working in education when a problem with her tax credits meant she was forced to use a food bank.
“I was suddenly plunged into a financial nightmare, not knowing how I was going to pay my bills, feed myself and my daughter, buy the things we needed…
I remember sitting in the waiting room, with my daughter, waiting to be given a food parcel. I was holding back my tears, not wanting my daughter to see me upset, and thinking ‘How has it got to this?’
We need to get rid of food banks. We need change – a real living wage, benefits that reflect the cost of living, more social housing. Poverty does not discriminate – it can, and will, single you out through no fault of your own. We need to bring people together and think about whether this is the life we want and how we can change it. It’s the community that can influence change.”
Food banks in the Trussell Trust network help people break free from poverty by providing additional support to help people resolve the crises they’re facing.
Between 1st April – 30th September 2020, that meant giving 1.2 million emergency food parcels to people in crisis. During the first six months of the pandemic in the UK, they provided 2,600 parcels to children every day – and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Over the past year, we’ve all made incredible changes to the way we live, work, and look after each other. In the past few months, we’ve seen amazing compassion and concern for families, children, and people in crisis – with food banks, community groups, and others stepping up to help.
But this kind of help shouldn’t be needed. Nobody should be forced to rely on a food bank to live, and as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to unfold, we need change now more than ever.
That’s why we’re calling for a hunger-free future, and asking people just like you to stand alongside us and the Trussell Trust in the mission to create a fairer, more equal world.