There With You This Winter: Foodbank advice and support
- Credit: Alexandra Smart
In the 12 months from April 2020, Trussell Trust foodbanks in north London delivered 421,426 parcels – and work is being done to provide advice to households facing hardship this winter.
The first year of the pandemic saw a 106% rise in demand for the charity's services.
The Cadent Foundation, funded by the Cadent gas network company, has formed a new three-year, £1.5m strategic partnership with the Trussell Trust, aimed at increasing low incomes through providing access to financial advice.
Neal Southwick, head of financial inclusion at the Trussell Trust, said: “A huge number of people are experiencing financial crisis, unable to access the right support, and often ill equipped to navigate complex issues and systems.
"Cadent’s support is crucial, enabling us to seize the opportunity to help develop both local and national services that support a range of complex circumstances. Everyone’s experience of poverty is different, and it’s vital that people receive tailored, dignified support.
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"New income maximisation and debt advice services will offer practical support to navigate our social security system as well as looking at managing debt, with the hope that through increasing income, people won’t need to use a foodbank again in the future. In partnership with our food banks, we are increasing support at the point of crisis as well as working to push support upstream, to prevent people facing the levels of poverty that we have seen rise over the past five years.”
Whilst people referred to food banks can be dealing with a vast variety of issues, the fundamental problem common to all is simple: a lack of money to buy the absolute essentials we all need to live, like food, clothes, heating, and safe accommodation.
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The funding provides local grants to foodbanks via the Trussell Trust's Together for Change grants programme, as well as supporting the national Help through Hardship helpline, which was developed in 2020 in collaboration with Citizens Advice.
Julia Dwyer, director of the Cadent Foundation, said: “Ultimately no one should ever need to use a food bank. By making sure that people struggling to afford food are getting as much income as possible, it will not only help people at the point of crisis but will also make it less likely that someone will need a food bank in the future.”
Visit www.trusselltrust.org to find foodbanks and support.