Trussell Trust leads the debate on food poverty


In 2013 The Trussell Trust continued its rapid growth, and added over 100 new foodbanks to take the network above 400. Recently it took a central role in the debate on the growing issue of food poverty in the UK.

In only 10 years, what began as a small community project has reached the scale where the Trussell Trust has managed to get a 3-hour debate in the House of Commons dedicated to the issue that its foodbank social franchise was set up to tackle. The debate in the chamber, which took place last month, was over-subscribed and #foodbankdebate was the number one issue trending on twitter for 24 hours.

The rise in demand is widely-recognised and the Trussell Trust has successfully used social franchising to scale at a sufficient pace to meet that demand. Indeed, the motion of the recent parliamentary debate noted that “the number of people using foodbanks provided by the Trussell Trust alone has increased from 41,000 in 2010 to more than 500,000 since April this year (2013), of whom one third were children”.

Chris Mould, Partner at Shaftesbury Partnership, is also Executive Chairman of the Trussell Trust. He says that, “the pace and scale of growth means we are repeatedly in uncharted territory for a social franchise. We have been hugely inspired by the capacity of local communities to join together in establishing and sustaining a critical service. We estimate that we mobilised well over 3 million people to participate in 2013. We are also developing a wide-reaching understanding of how big business can use its scale for good when partnering with a quality assured franchise like the Trussell Trust foodbank network. There is a surprising array of opportunities which we have been exploring.

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