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Call to action! Guarantee Our Essentials

On Friday 8th September we stood outside Atherton parish church, 9am - 12.30pm, asking the good people of Atherton, who we have relied on over & over and never been let down, to once again show their support for people in crisis in their town, and the wider community, by signing #OurEssentials petition.

We Spoke to lots of people but we know not everyone could make it down, which is why you can sign online, by tapping the link below.
Sign the Guarantee Our Essentials petition

In the last financial year, our foodbank, thanks to the amazing generosity of  donations,  provided a minimum of 66,200 meals for local people in crisis, and of those, 24,900 were provided for children. That’s 95.5 tonnes of food!

The most we have ever provided in a single year.

We know this is just the tip of the iceberg as our research finds that one in seven people face hunger across the UK due to a lack of money.

Our social security system should support anyone in need of help, but right now it’s not providing enough income to cover the cost of life’s essentials, with most people at food banks in receipt of Universal Credit.

We’re calling on the UK government for an ‘Essentials Guarantee’ to make sure that the basic rate of Universal Credit is at least enough to afford the essentials we all need, such as food, household bills and travel costs.

Around 90% of low-income households receiving Universal Credit are going without at least one essential like food, a warm home or toiletries.


Help us ensure everyone can afford life’s essentials


Cartoon man holding megaphone
Join us in calling for an Essentials Guarantee by signing our petition , either in person at Atherton Parish Church on Friday 8th (9am – 12.30pm) or by clicking Here

Warren Done, the foodbank project manager said “Here at Atherton & Leigh foodbank we are seeing more and more people plunged deeper into poverty and coming through the doors. In the last 12 months we provided 3,428 emergency food parcels helping feed 7,355 adults and children to local people who couldn’t afford the essentials. 2,767 of these were provided for children. These statistics are reflective of the picture across the UK as the Trussell Trust recently announced that their network, of which we’re a part, distributed almost three million emergency food parcels between April 2022 – March 2023 – the highest number on record”.

“In our food bank, the majority of the people that we support are in receipt of Universal Credit, including many who will also be in work. Right now, Universal Credit is not providing enough to cover the costs of life’s essentials, such as food, household bills or travel costs”.

“The Trussell Trust estimates that to afford even these core essential costs a single person is £120 a week, however the basic rate of Universal Credit is just £85 a week. This is already too low, yet people needing to use our food bank can have up to 25% of that deducted to repay debts, such as advance payments and budgeting loans from the Department for Work & Pensions”

“We’re proud of the work that we’re doing to help meet the needs of our community, but we don’t want to exist. We believe everyone should have enough money to be able to afford to buy food and other essentials.”


We need an Essentials Guarantee

The basic rate of Universal Credit should at least cover the cost of essentials like food, household bills and travel costs, but it is not currently set according to any objective assessment of what people need.

Right now, this is only £85 a week for a single adult. That means there’s a significant shortfall between people’s living costs and their income, which is forcing many to skip meals, switch off essential appliances such as fridges, and unable to pay essential bills.

Sign the petition here

That’s why we’re working with  The Trussell Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to call for an Essentials Guarantee within Universal Credit, which means the basic rate at least covers life’s essentials and that support can never be pulled below that level. Read more on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation website.

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