A key milestone in the elimination of hunger and food poverty has been reached today, during Challenge Poverty Week, following a significant grant of £150,000, across two years, from Allchurches Trust to Feeding Britain.
The Trust’s support will enable the anti-hunger charity, created by the Archbishop of Canterbury and with the Bishop of Gloucester among its trustees, to offer wraparound advice and casework services for people on low incomes who access low-cost food from its network of ‘Citizens’ Supermarkets’ in Coventry and Wirral.
These on-the-spot services, operating under the charity’s ‘Pathways from Poverty’ programme, will address issues such as debt, benefits, and housing, which have left people struggling to afford food and other essentials. In doing so, they will minimise the risk of people descending into crisis and having to rely upon on food banks at a later stage.
The programme has to date helped 3,500 people accessing food banks across Bradford, Derbyshire, Leicester, and Wirral to resolve crises that have left them destitute. Among its successes has been an increase in people’s annual incomes by a collective total of £750,000, as well as the prevention of prolonged periods of hunger and hardship, and a reduction in the long-term need for food banks.
Moreover, the evidence produced by the programme enabled Feeding Britain to campaign successfully for a £265 million measure in the Government’s most recent Budget to support families on Universal Credit.
Under this latest leg of the programme, being funded by Allchurches, up to 2,400 people are expected to be helped over a two-year period. Crucially, the grant will enable Feeding Britain to intervene at an earlier stage to prevent the need for food banks before it arises. The findings of this work will be used to inform and influence community food provision across the country, with the objective of empowering an even greater number of churches to address the drivers of chronic poverty.
Andrew Bass, Grants Officer for Allchurches Trust, said: ‘On a week that highlights the very real issue of poverty in the UK, we’re delighted that our funding can bring some positivity and hope by extending the reach of the Pathways from Poverty programme. This will help many more people on low-incomes to access free, high-quality advice which could change their lives for the better and support the wider aim of ending hunger and food poverty.’
Andrew Forsey, Feeding Britain’s National Director, added: ‘When the pandemic first struck our country, Allchurches Trust moved swiftly to support Feeding Britain’s efforts to provide two million meals to tens of thousands of families. This latest act of generosity moves us onto a more preventative footing from which we can address, at an earlier stage, some of the potent forces in people’s lives which put them at risk of destitution.’
Contact details: Andrew Forsey, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07951 821 304
About Feeding Britain:
Feeding Britain is an award-winning charity, established in 2015 by an all-party group of MPs and Peers under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, which aims to eliminate hunger and its root causes from the United Kingdom.
About Allchurches Trust:
Allchurches Trust is one of the UK’s largest grant-making charities. Our mission is to equip and empower Christian organisations to have a positive and transformative impact on lives and communities. We welcome applications from all parts of the UK and Ireland, particularly from areas of social and economic deprivation. We support the repair, restoration, protection and improvement of church buildings, cathedrals and other places of Christian worship, especially where those changes support wider community use. Our grants also equip Christian charities and churches to help the most vulnerable and tackle social issues, including homelessness, poverty, climate change and cultural cohesion; and we provide funding for projects that support church growth and leadership and share the Christian faith. We also work with selected partners to preserve the UK and Ireland’s rich history through funding to build and protect sustainable heritage skills.