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Attend Hustings to Address Food Poverty Crisis

13th June 2024

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Local Trussell Trust Food Banks Launch Essentials Guarantee Campaign and New Website to Combat Rising Poverty

The Trussell Trust food banks in Bristol and South Gloucestershire are hosting a series of hustings events to address the pressing issue of food poverty in the region. These events will provide a platform for local parliamentary candidates to discuss their plans to tackle the root causes of poverty and food bank use. The events are part of the broader Essentials Guarantee campaign, aimed at ensuring that Universal Credit covers essential living costs. For more information, visit endhungerbristol.org.

The Essentials Guarantee campaign, spearheaded by the Trussell Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, aims to ensure that Universal Credit provides enough income to cover essential living costs such as food, household bills, and travel. This campaign is crucial as food banks across Bristol, South Glos and the UK are being stretched to breaking point, with over 3.1 million emergency food parcels handed out by Trussell Trust food banks in the last year alone. The campaign seeks to address the root causes of poverty and food bank use by advocating for systemic changes to the social security system, ensuring that no one has to rely on food banks to survive.

We invite you to join us at our upcoming hustings events to engage directly with your local parliamentary candidates. These events are an opportunity to ask important questions and hear about their plans to support the most vulnerable in our communities.

  • Bristol North West Hardship Hustings
    St Stephen’s Church in Southmead on Friday 21st of June from 7:30-9pm (doors open at 7:00pm). You can register online here.
  • Bristol East Hardship Hustings
    Trinity Centre on Tuesday 25th of June from 7:30-9pm (doors open at 7:00pm). You can register online here.

We need your support to make these events successful and to advocate for systemic changes that will help end hunger in our region. Attend our hustings to engage directly with candidates, ask important questions, and show your support for the Essentials Guarantee campaign. Visit our new campaign website, endhungerbristol.org, for more information and to register for the events.

Volunteering Opportunities

Additionally, we are seeking volunteers to help with stewarding, serving drinks and snacks, and setting up venues. Your participation is crucial in advocating for an Essentials Guarantee in Universal Credit, ensuring that the basic rate covers essential costs like food, household bills, and travel. You can find more information about volunteering opportunities at endhungerbristol.org, then register your interest on our online form.

In Bristol, 18% of children are growing up in poverty, with some areas experiencing rates as high as 55%. These alarming statistics highlight the urgent need for systemic change to ensure that no one has to rely on food banks to survive. Over the past year, more than 50,000 people in Bristol and South Gloucestershire have relied on food banks, reflecting a broader national crisis where food bank usage has almost doubled in recent years. The Trussell Trust network distributed over 3.1 million emergency food parcels in the past year, including more than 1.1 million parcels for children. This represents a 94% increase compared to five years ago. These figures underscore the critical importance of the Essentials Guarantee campaign, which aims to ensure that Universal Credit provides enough income to cover essential living costs and prevent people from falling into destitution.

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