The Trussell Trust

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Trussell Trust
Founded1997 (1997)
FounderPaddy Henderson, Carol Henderson
Registration no.Charity no.: 1110522
Company no.: 5434524
Area served
United Kingdom, Bulgaria
MethodFood banks

The Trussell Trust is a NGO and charity, based in Salisbury, UK, that co-ordinates the only nationwide network of food banks in the country.


The Trussell Trust was founded in 1997, by Paddy and Carol Henderson while working with street children in Bulgaria at Sofia Central Railway Station.[2] Named for Carol's mother Betty Trussell from whom they had received a legacy, the couple's work spread to the United Kingdom after the couple were contacted by a British mother who was struggling to feed her children.[3]

After researching the issue of short-term hunger in the area, Henderson founded the first of the trust's food banks in the garage and shed of his Salisbury home.[4]


Food banks[edit]

The trust runs a network of food banks across the United Kingdom. In 2004 they ran only two food banks. With new banks opening every week, it was estimated in a May 2013 report published by Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty that over 500,000 people had used the trust's food banks.[5] The number of people using food banks in the first half of the 2014-15 financial year was 38% higher than the same period the previous year.[6] Reasons why people have difficulty getting enough to eat include redundancy, sickness, delays over receiving benefits, domestic violence, family breakdown, debt, additional fuel costs in winter.[7] Some clients of foodbanks are in work but cannot afford everything they need due to low pay.[8] In 2015, the trust released figures showing that there were over one million users of food banks during the 2014-2015 financial year.[9]

The banks run on a 'front line' model rather than a 'warehouse' model. That is, food is taken in and distributed directly to those who need it. People are referred to the food banks by doctors, social services, CAB and police who assess need to ensure that it is genuine. Visitors are given vouchers for three days' worth of food, with each visitor eligible for no more than three vouchers per year.[8][10] Visitors are also signposted to agencies that can help with longer-term difficulties.[10] The Trussell Trust needs extra donations during the long summer school holiday because school children from poor families do not get free school meals then.[11]


The charity continues to work in Bulgaria, where it operates programmes that work with street children in the country, and Romani people who are among the poorest in the region.[12]


  1. ^ Cooper, Charlie (12 December 2013). "Volunteering is for life, not just for Christmas". The Independent. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  2. ^ Stewart, Catriona (15 December 2013). "An American idea that has spread across the world". Sunday Herald. Herald & Times Group. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  3. ^ "How we started". The Trussell Trust. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  4. ^ Thompson, Melissa (14 August 2013). "Meet Trussell Trust founders Paddy and Carol Henderson whose Foodbanks have fed 900,000 hungry Brits". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  5. ^ Cooper, Niall; Dumpleton, Sarah (May 2013). "Walking the breadline: the scandal of food poverty in 21st century Britain". OXFAM and Church Action on Poverty. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  6. ^ Boffey, Daniel (22 November 2014). "Firms flouting the minimum wage not prosecuted in the past year". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  7. ^ "UK Foodbanks". The Trussell Trust. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  8. ^ a b Davis, Rowena (12 May 2012). "The rise and rise of the food bank". New Statesman. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Poverty in the UK - a real issue". Dial2Donate. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  10. ^ a b "How a foodbank works". The Trussell Trust. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  11. ^ Food banks appeal for donations ahead of expected rise in demand from hungry children over summer holidays The Independent
  12. ^ "Bulgaria projects". The Trussell Trust. Retrieved 21 December 2013.

External links[edit]