TLC's Foodbank operation is part of a National network of Foodbanks called the Trussell Trust. Below is the latest press release from the Trussell Trust.
PRESS RELEASE 25th April 2017 - The Trussell Trust
Foodbank Use Continues to rise as new report highlights growing impact of Universal Credit rollout on foodbanks
UK foodbank use continues to rise according to new data from anti-poverty charity, The Trussell Trust. Between 1st April 2016 and 31st March 2017, The Trussell Trust’s Foodbank Network provided 1,182,954 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis compared to 1,109,309 in 2015-16. Of this number, 436,938 went to children. This is a measure of volume rather than unique users, and on average, people needed two foodbank referrals in the last year.* [see notes to editor]
The charity’s new report, Early Warnings: Universal Credit and Foodbanks, highlights that although the rollout of the new Universal Credit system for administering benefits has been piecemeal so far, foodbanks in areas of partial or full rollout are reporting significant problems with its impact.
Trussell Trust data also reveals that benefit delays and changes remain the biggest cause of referral to a foodbank, accounting for 43 percent of all referrals (26 percent benefit delay; 17 percent benefit change), a slight rise on last year’s 42 percent. Low income has also risen as a referral cause from 23 percent to 26 percent.
Key recommendations from the report:
Responding to today’s report, David McAuley, Chief Executive of The Trussell Trust said,
“The move to simplify an often complex welfare system is a welcome one but any large reform can have unforeseen consequences. Foodbanks see first-hand how changes to the welfare system affect people on the ground, and so can offer an early warning to decision-makers. We are sharing our early observations with the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure any adverse side effects Universal Credit can have on people are addressed before full rollout is completed. We have been heartened by Secretary of State Damian Green’s willingness to engage, his department’s work to pilot improvements, and the recent changes to the Universal Credit taper rate which mean people moving into work will keep more of their earnings. We hope our insights can inform efforts to make sure the values on which Universal Credit is built are delivered in practice. To stop UK hunger we must make sure the welfare system really does work for everyone.”
The Trussell Trust is calling for help from the public to make sure people in crisis get the support they need. To make a donation to The Trussell Trust or find out how to help a local foodbank, please visit www.trusselltrust.org
Notes to Editor
Early Warnings: Universal Credit and Foodbanks can be accessed by clicking on the link.
Spokespeople, foodbank visits, regional breakdowns and, where possible, client case studies, available on request.
Please contact The Trussell Trust media team on 020 3137 3699 / firstname.lastname@example.org. Out of hours call 07789 642 727.
The Trussell Trust:
*Trussell Trust foodbank statistics:
Trussell Trust statistics are collected using an online data collection system into which foodbanks enter the data from each foodbank voucher. The system records numbers given three day emergency food supplies. The Trussell Trust is measuring volume – the number of people to whom it has given three days’ food supply (containing enough food for 10 meals). The Trussell Trust has consistently measured figures in this way and reports them at the middle and end of each financial year. Trussell Trust figures clearly state that we are counting the number of people to whom three days’ food has been given, but these are not necessarily unique people. Our data system is beginning to capture numbers of unique foodbank users on a national scale, and whilst it is too early to accurately use this figure, detailed evidence collected from a range of foodbanks indicates that on average, people needed 2 foodbank referrals in one year, leading us to estimate that approximately 591,477 people are likely to have been unique users.
Trussell Trust figures cannot be used to fully explain the scale of the food poverty across the UK, because our figures only relate to Trussell Trust foodbanks and not to the hundreds of other independent food aid providers. There is no official data on other food aid projects, but estimates suggest that there are likely to be the same number again of non-Trussell Trust foodbank style projects in the UK.
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