With the prospect of a no-deal Brexit looming large over the country, resulting food shortages could greatly impact society’s most financially vulnerable people. In the wake of recent political posturing led by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leading charities have warned that price rises will affect the poor, with food banks bracing for a surge in demand following a no-deal Brexit. In this segment, we take a look at the charitable work food banks offer, from the national effort led by the likes of the Trussell Trust, to the grassroots organisations working tirelessly to ensure the necessary aid reaches those who need it most.
The Trussell Trust was founded in 1997 by Paddy and Carol Henderson in Salisbury, UK. It is named after Carol’s mother, Betty Trussell, from whose bequeathed legacy their charity work began. In the past year, the Trussell Trust has distributed 1.6 million emergency three-day food parcels from the 1,200 food banks that they operate across the United Kingdom. Statistics from 2018-2019 show a 73% increase in the use of food banks over the past five years. They also show that the North West area tops the chart for parcel distribution, with a total of 222,722 distributed in the last year. Operating a front-line model, as opposed to a warehouse model, the Trussell Trust’s emphasis is on speedy distribution and provision. Chief Executive Emma Revie lays the blame on the government’s Universal Credit system, referring to the five-week waiting period from application for benefits to provision “leaving many without enough money to cover the basics.”
The Independent Food Aid Network brings together forty representatives from grassroots independent food aid charities, that operate 809 food banks across the UK. The IFAN aims to connect members and raise awareness among journalists and researchers, seeking the elimination of the need for food aid in the UK.`