One of the key drivers of food bank use are delays, changes and problems with welfare and benefits. We are working to identify and pilot constructive solutions to address those issues within the welfare system that risk pushing people into food crisis.

Through our local pilots we work with organisations on the frontline of supporting people at risk of hunger. We are committed to listening to them, and to the people they work with, to understand the key issues that need to be addressed. Based on this we are:

  • Identifying specific issues with the welfare system that are causing people to experience food crises, building evidence to show the impact, and putting forward concrete policy changes that would help to address the issue
  • Developing a prototype for information on people's rights and the emergency support available, as part of an amended Claimant Commitment
  • Identifying opportunities for anti-hunger projects to be supported through statutory funding

Universal Credit

The feelings in the support sector is of great apprehension … The pressure on Foodbanks will shoot up and we are preparing for a bleak Christmas for those that are going to be affected in December if the feedback is correct…A very worrying time” (Food bank manager, Cornwall)

Most recently, we have been working on the issue of Universal Credit, as full roll-out begins across many of our local pilot areas. We submitted evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee, drawing on the experiences of our local pilots (you can read our submission here). We also recently attended a drop in event to tell MPs about the challenges facing organisations on the ground who are supporting people at risk of hunger. We will continue to share evidence on the impacts of the implementation of this policy, and the reforms that are needed.

Coming soon: we will be publishing an update of progress against each of the APPG on Hunger recommendations on welfare reform.