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Pears Foundation's continued commitment to fund core costs over such a considerable period has been of great benefit to the foodbank in planning our future activities. They are exceptionally approachable and their decisions are based on merit, not on a tick-box mentality.Denise Bentley, Co-Founder and CEO, Tower Hamlets Foodbank
It's difficult to accept that there are families anywhere in the world who can't be sure of their next meal; the fact that these families are right here in Britain, in our own community, is unthinkable. Faith groups have a long tradition of supporting the most vulnerable in their community. The Trussell Trust has a tried and tested model for training volunteers, establishing a network of referral agencies and meeting the many logistical challenges involved in operating a foodbank. We see foodbanks as an excellent example of how to mobilise local community support to meet one of the most fundamental of needs.Sir Trevor Pears CMG
13 million people live below the poverty line in Britain today. Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income.
Pears Foundation’s partnership with the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network dates back to 2007, when the Network was just being established as a social franchise and the economic climate was very different. The Trussell Trust now operates the largest network of UK foodbanks, which provides three days' emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis. In 2016-17, over 400 foodbanks provided 1,182,954 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis. Of this number, 436,938 went to children.
The Trussell Trust partners with churches and communities to open new foodbanks nationwide. All food is donated by the public and sorted by volunteers. Frontline care professionals such as doctors and social workers identify people in crisis and issue a food voucher, in exchange for which clients receive three days' worth of nutritionally balanced, non- perishable food. Volunteers meet clients over a cup of tea or free hot meal and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problem.
Some foodbanks also run a rural delivery service, taking emergency food parcels to clients living in rural areas who cannot afford to get to a foodbank.
Pears Foundation has provided core funding to the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network since 2007. This support, with crucial operating costs, has helped them build capacity and provide consistency in the standards of development and training across the expanding network.
Increasingly, foodbanks are offering additional services, from cookery courses to connecting clients with agencies that are looking at ways to address the underlying cause of clients’ crises and help them break the cycle of poverty. Pears Foundation has also supported a pilot advice project in Tower Hamlets Foodbank (an independent foodbank run by the First Love Foundation) in partnership with the Child Poverty Action Group which has led to more clients obtaining their correct entitlements and gaining a better understanding of the support that is available for them.