‘Support our essentials campaign – it will help reduce the need for food banks’

Food banks across Bristol and South Gloucestershire are seeing a drastic increase in people using their service, and are calling on Filtonvoice readers to back a campaign for Universal Credit to cover life essentials.

A spokesperson for local food banks said: “Our food banks are seeing the highest level of need since we opened 12 years ago.

“Universal Credit should offer support to anyone in need of help, but here in Filton and the surrounding areas, we’re seeing more and more people pushed to our doors because Universal Credit doesn’t cover the cost of life’s essentials, such as food and bills.”

A petition calling on the government to implement an Essentials Guarantee as part of the Universal Credit scheme, has been launched by the Trussell Trust, which runs the UK’s network of food banks, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The spokesperson added: “We need people like you to take action. You see first-hand how low levels of social security affect people in our community.

“We truly believe that taking action will seriously lower the number of people needing to use our food banks.”

A visitor to the St Barnabas (BS4) foodbank said: “[The foodbank] has been my lifeline, I don’t know what I would do without all of you.”

The petition can be signed here: www.trusselltrust.org/get-involved/campaigns/guarantee-our-essentials/

Your local Trussell Trust food bank (Horfield Outlet) is open weekly at Ebenezer Church (286 Filton Avenue, BS7 0BA) to support members of the community who need our help. The food bank operates using a referral system. To find out more or to help support our work check out our website: nbsg.foodbank.org.uk/