Pears Foundation is investing £1 million in a national programme to reduce the need for food banks. This transformational grant to long-term partner the Trussell Trust, will support the roll out of a new Income Maximisation strategy across the Trust’s network of local food banks, creating sustainable services and making sure more people have the money they need.
As well as providing emergency food for people in crisis, many food banks already offer additional services, from debt management to benefits advice. The new programme will build capacity in local food banks with a focus on improving access to specialist benefits advice over the next five years. This will include building a financial resilience team, providing signposting training for volunteers, a grant programme to fund services and data capture and advocacy.
Pears Foundation has previously supported a Child Poverty Action Group pilot based at a food bank in Tower Hamlets. This demonstrated the positive impact welfare rights and benefits advice can have; over the course of eight years, the project returned a total of £4.2m to 1,512 clients.
Sir Trevor Pears CMG, Executive Chair, Pears Foundation said:
“We are delighted to continue and deepen our Foundation’s decade long partnership with the Trussell Trust. We fully support the Trust’s new Income Maximisation strategy and their increasing focus on ending the need for food banks. Having funded the successful Tower Hamlets pilot we are very pleased to back the Trust as they roll out this approach on a national basis. I look forward to continuing to work with Emma and the team at Trussell Trust over the coming five years to help thousands of people facing severe financial hardship.”
Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust, said:
“We’ve seen unprecedented numbers of people needing help from food banks for the first time as the impact of coronavirus has hit people’s incomes. This isn’t right. But thanks to the longstanding support of the Pears Foundation, over many years, we’ve been able to weather the storm of the pandemic and move forward with renewed confidence in supporting our network of food banks during these uncertain times.
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, projects funded by this grant 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. We can become a country where everyone has enough money for essentials.”