The Trussell Trust runs the largest network of foodbanks in the UK, giving emergency food and support to people in crisis. Thirteen million people live below the poverty line and in the last year we gave 1,583,668 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis.
Even to an expert the UK benefits system is a minefield. Try and imagine what it must be like for someone whose previous contact with it has been minimal or non-existent.
Many of the clients referred to us for food have become ensnared in its intricacies which has meant that their food poverty problems are either caused by or exacerbated by an inability to claim what they are entitled to, or who have been subject to dubious decision making by the DWP resulting in them being sanctioned and without benefits for weeks at a time.
Financial cutbacks as a result of austerity measures have meant that the avenues for such clients to seek help and advice have narrowed over recent years and become grossly overloaded.
To combat this for our clients we set up a Welfare Benefits Advice arm and the need for it has been amply demonstrated over the past months. Such a system, despite being largely operated by dedicated volunteers, does cost money to maintain and operate – a commodity which is in short supply within a foodbank
We are delighted to now have had the support of the P.H. Holt Foundation who have given us a grant of £5000 to enable this work to continue and expand.
The PH Holt Foundation, incorporating the Holt Education Trust, is an independent grant-maker supporting local communities, education, the arts, heritage and environment on Merseyside. They award grants to charities doing work that meets their overriding aim of making Merseyside a better place to live.
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