End Hunger Bristol

It’s a travesty that anyone needs to rely on a food bank to survive.

As Trussell Trust food banks operating across Bristol and South Gloucestershire, we want to end the need for food banks for good.

%

of Universal Credit households are going without essentials

%

of food bank users are disabled

%

of food bank meals go to children

We’re asking prospective parliamentary candidates to pledge support for Universal Credit to provide enough to cover people’s essential needs. This would have a significant impact on hunger and food bank use.

It’s a travesty that anyone needs to rely on a food bank to survive. So we want to end the need for food banks.

Ask your Parliamentary Candidates to sign our pledge.

Ahead of the General Election, you can take action by asking your Parliamentary Candidates to demonstrate their commitment to advocate for changes which would help ensure our social security system protects people from needing a food bank to survive.

When people are going without it's time to guarantee our essentials

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the End Hunger Bristol campaign align with or differ from national Trussell Trust initiatives?
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“End Hunger Bristol” is what we're calling our local campaign, which is just one part of the national Trussell Trust election campaign. The local campaign focuses on local efforts by Bristol-based Trussell Trust food banks to address food poverty and advocate for policy changes, such as the Essentials Guarantee. This policy (which is also promoted by Joseph Rowntree Foundation) aims to ensure Universal Credit covers basic necessities, with amounts determined independently based on real living costs. While the national Trussell Trust campaign addresses UK-wide issues, End Hunger Bristol tailors its efforts to the specific needs and circumstances of the Bristol and South Gloucestershire communities.

How can I effectively communicate these policy requests to candidates who may not be familiar with food bank issues?
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To effectively communicate policy requests to candidates unfamiliar with food bank issues:

  1. Use Compelling Statistics: “Food banks in the Trussell Trust network distributed over 3.1 million emergency food parcels last year, a 94% increase compared to five years ago”.
  2. Emphasise Food Banks Are Not a Long-Term Solution: “While food banks provide crucial emergency support, we need systemic changes to ensure everyone can afford life's essentials.”
  3. Highlight the Urgency: “It's a national scandal that millions rely on food banks in one of the world's wealthiest countries.”
  4. Focus on the Essentials Guarantee Policy: “We're calling for an Essentials Guarantee to ensure Universal Credit always covers basic necessities, with the amount set independently based on real living costs”.
  5. Explain Benefits: “This would reduce food bank usage, improve public health, boost the local economy, and restore dignity to struggling families.”
  6. Use Relatable Examples: “Imagine choosing between heating your home or feeding your children. An Essentials Guarantee would prevent such impossible choices.”
  7. Provide Context on Public Support: “72% of the public support the Essentials Guarantee across all political parties”.

Be concise, passionate, and prepared with local examples to make the issue tangible for candidates.

Are there any specific challenges or opposition to these policies that supporters should be prepared to address?
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“Universal Credit is too expensive”
The cost of hunger and deprivation to society is far greater, impacting health, education, and economic productivity. For instance, the number of people experiencing destitution in the UK nearly doubled from 2017 to 2022, reaching 3.8 million. Additionally, 79% of the UK public agree that poverty is a significant problem.

“Food bank users simply have poor budgeting skills”
Some do, but that's hardly reason to deprive them of help when they're starving. But in reality, many are forced to choose between heating and eating due to high rents and inadequate incomes. When people can't afford essentials, there's no money left to budget with.

“Food bank users are 'spongers.'”
In fact, 20% of food bank users are working families, including professionals like nurses, who still can't make ends meet due to low wages and high living costs.

What are the next steps for the campaign if the desired policy changes are not immediately adopted after the election?
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We will hold elected officials accountable for the promises they made during the campaign. We will continue to advocate for policies that significantly reduce the need for food banks. This includes maintaining public pressure through ongoing campaigns, engaging with policymakers, and mobilising community support to ensure that the issue remains a priority. Our goal is to build a future where no one needs a food bank to survive. We will also work to build partnerships across all levels of government and society to push for systemic changes that ensure everyone can afford the essentials.

How can supporters stay updated on the campaign's progress and impact after the election?
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Supporters can stay updated on the campaign's progress and impact by following Bristol food banks on social media (links available in this site's footer) for regular updates and news. Additionally, subscribing to our email newsletter will provide monthly updates on campaign developments, impact reports, and upcoming events. Regularly visiting this website will also ensure you have the latest information. Attending local community events and meetings where we share updates, or volunteering, will offer first-hand insights into the campaign's impact. By staying connected through these channels, you'll remain well-informed about policy changes, campaign victories, and ongoing efforts to fight food poverty in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.