Falkirk Foodbank: Myths about the use of Trussell Trust food banks

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With one more week of our campaign to support The Trussell Trusts and organisations such as Falkirk Foodbank, we look at some of the myths around their use.

You have to be unemployed to use a food bank False: One in five people who use a food bank are currently in work, but their wages are so low it doesn’t cover their cost of living.

Fewer members of the public are donating food to food banks False: The generosity of the public never fails to amaze us, and generally the amount of food donated to food banks is steady. However, the need for emergency food parcels has risen so much that for the first time this need is outstripping donations and food banks are reaching breaking point.

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You can only access a food bank three times False: We are keen to make sure that anyone who needs help can receive it. If someone does need to access a food bank more than three times in six months, the volunteers at the food bank will work with the person to get them long term support to help with their difficult situation.

Falkirk Foodbank marks its 10th anniversary this monthFalkirk Foodbank marks its 10th anniversary this month
Falkirk Foodbank marks its 10th anniversary this month

The Trussell Trust wants a future where food banks don’t exist True: No one should need a food bank’s help. It’s not right, and it’s not inevitable. We know the changes that are needed to move us closer to a future where people don’t need emergency food. To reach that future we need to see long-term change that tackles the reasons why people are being left without money for essentials like food. We won’t be able to end hunger alone, but as a national food bank network we’re committed not only to providing the best service possible to people who come through the doors of food banks in our network, but to challenging the structural issues that lock people into poverty.

People come back again and again to food banks and abuse the system False: On average, people are referred to a food bank in our network only twice in a year. Year-on-year, the figures show an increase in the number of three-day emergency food parcels provided by food banks in our network because more people need them. In fact, 27,000 people had to use a food bank for the first time in the last six months. This is not right – no one should be forced to use a food bank.

Food banks provide more than food True: As well as food, food banks are a place where someone can be listened to by our volunteers, heard, and helped. All food banks will be able to put you in touch with great people who can help you with financial worries, debt, and much more.

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With one in five people visiting a food bank coming from a working household, hunger is an issue that can touch all of us. There is no doubt we are all feeling the pinch, but we are hoping that during the coming weeks you can spare whatever you can to The Trussell Trust winter appeal. Across our family of newspapers, we aim to raise as much money as we can to support this vital charity this winter. The money raised will go directly to food banks to ensure that anyone who needs a helping hand this winter gets it. Your money will be the difference between a family in your community eating, or a family in your community going hungry. That is how important this appeal is. You can donate online at www.trusselltrust.org/nationalworld/