Trussell Trust foodbanks provide a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK, in partnership with with churches and communities.
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. Clients receive three days of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food in exchange for their food voucher. Foodbanks also make time to chat and to signpost clients to other helpful services.
The Trussell Trust is a Christian organisation motivated by Jesus' teaching on poverty and injustice. It operates according to Christian principles of compassion, honesty, integrity, openness, kindness and care of all people, regardless of backgrounds or beliefs. It believes in turning faith into practical action, living out God's love for the poor, serving people of all faith groups and none.
In Wales the Foodbanks story began with Adrian Curtis from Festival Church, Ebbw Vale towards the end of 2007. Adrian was working with a high street bank at the time, but was concerned with the way in which banks were encouraging people to take on more debt. He also noticed that his priorities were changing, with the Lord giving him an increasing burden to help the poor and needy. Although he believed that God was calling him out of the banking industry to meet the needs of the poor, he wasn't sure what the next step was. Then, one day while searching the internet, the word "foodbank" popped into his mind. He did a search and "Trussell Trust" came up. As Adrian perused their website, it seemed to be exactly what he was looking for "a ministry that helped the poor and needy, with a foodbank as the principal means of accomplishing this.
Adrian went to Salisbury to see the first of the UK Foodbanks in operation and decided to open one up in Ebbw Vale. Within a few months his dream became a reality and it became the first one in Wales. Helped by funding from Oxfam, the work blossomed.
In Wales, Trussell Trust Foodbanks provided emergency food to just under 86,000 people during 2015. This was more or less the same number as the previous year. The number of distribution centres (primarily based in local churches) increased to 105, operating through 35 foodbanks, as more local churches and community groups sought to care for the most vulnerable in society. There are plans to open more Trussell Trust Foodbanks in 2016, working towards the target of a foodbank in every town in Wales.
For more information about Trussell Trust Foodbanks, see www.trusselltrust.org.
Trussell Trust Foodbanks are recognised by the Cinnamon network, and churches starting a project in Wales may be eligible for a Cinnamon micro-grant of up to £2,000 – see www.cinnamonnetwork.co.uk/micro-grants-wales.