At Naturisimo we are passionate about finding ways to give back to our community. This Christmas, we are proud to support the Trussell Trust. We caught up with them to help explain to our customers why the work they are doing is so crucial for so many people.
Who are the Trussell Trust and what is your aim?
The Trussell Trust supports a UK-wide network of more than 1,200 food bank centres, working to provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty. We also campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK for good.
No charity can replace the dignity of buying your own food, and it simply isn’t right that people don’t have enough money to cover the cost of essentials. While the food banks in our network will provide short-term emergency support to people in crisis for as long as they’re needed, we believe that together we can create change and end the need for food banks.
Can you tell us about the great work the Trust are doing to tackle these issues?
We work in three main areas: emergency food; more than food; and creating change. The food banks in our network provide three-day emergency food parcels to people in crisis who have been referred to the food bank, making sure they and their families get immediate support. Food banks also help people access longer-term support where possible, and we’ve been pleased to help more food banks provide specialist welfare or debt advice in their sessions to get the right help to people at the right time.
We also work to create change by conducting research into hunger and food bank use in the UK and speaking to policymakers, as well as campaigning on specific issues like the five week wait for Universal Credit. In November 2019, we launched a landmark piece of research called State of Hunger showing the full extent of food bank use in the UK.
How many people use the food banks currently?
Last year, food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network provided 1.6 million emergency food parcels to people in crisis; over half a million of these went to children. Food bank use in the Trussell Trust network has risen a massive 73% in the last five years. Food banks in the Trussell Trust network represent around two-thirds of all food banks in the UK, meaning that the true number of emergency food parcels distributed last year is estimated as closer to 3 million.
Can you tell us some of the amazing achievements of the Trust so far?
Although we believe food banks shouldn’t be needed, we are hugely proud of the achievements of the food banks in our network. Staffed mainly by volunteers, these food banks provide invaluable support to people in crisis; without them, thousands of people each year would have nowhere to turn. Our influence is growing as a charity, and we have achieved real policy change already, like a reduction to the wait for Universal Credit. More people than ever are talking about food banks on social media and in the news, and more people than ever are taking the problem seriously.
More than 14 million people are living in poverty in the UK, including 4.5 million children – will we ever be able to end this crisis?
Yes! As a nation, we believe in compassion and justice. We created the NHS, the fire service, our police force so that everyone would have access to the support they needed in a crisis. Our benefits system was created for the same reasons – so that no one would find themselves without support. Right now, the benefits system isn’t working for everyone, but we know we can change that.
We’re calling on the next government to end the five week wait for Universal Credit, make sure benefit levels cover the true cost of living, and invest in local emergency support for people in crisis. Making those changes wouldn’t end the crisis overnight, but they would be an incredibly important first step towards real change.
I know that these are issues that will resonate with our customers. What can people do if they would like to support the Trussell Trust or get involved?
Without the support of the public, we couldn’t do the work we do. Whether you’re able to donate food, money, or time, you can make a real difference to the lives of people in crisis. Particularly in the run up to Christmas, food banks see more people needing their help– find your local food bank and get in touch to see what they need most. You can find out more about how to get involved on our website. Whether you want to fundraise for us, volunteer at one of our shops, or join in with our campaigning, there’s a way for you to help!
Naturisimo will be supporting the amazing work done by the Trussell Trust by donating £5 from each Naturisimo Gift Box this Christmas. Every penny of this donation will go directly to help towards ending the need for food banks in the UK. Wishing all our customers a healthy, happy festive season!