The Trussell Trust
|Founder||Paddy Henderson, Carol Henderson|
|Registration no.||Charity no.: 1110522|
Company no.: 5434524
|United Kingdom, Bulgaria|
The Trussell Trust was founded in 1997, by Paddy and Carol Henderson while working with street children in Bulgaria at Sofia Central Railway Station. 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.
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. 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. 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. Some clients of foodbanks are in work but cannot afford everything they need due to low pay. In 2015, the trust released figures showing that there were over one million users of food banks during the 2014-2015 financial year.
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. Visitors are also signposted to agencies that can help with longer-term difficulties. 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.
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