Britain Isn’t Eating

by Church Action on Poverty

About the project


Tipping Point £1,000
Take the message on the road £2,000
Mass publicity! £10,000
tipping point
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!
tipping point
25 hrs
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!

More about the project

What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
Government policy is now causing destitution and hunger on a huge scale. There has been an explosion in food poverty in the UK in recent years, which has accelerated since the Coalition government took power and began cutting and reforming the benefits system. Churches and other groups are responding by setting up food banks. Accordong to the Trussell Trust, the largest network of food banks, up to half of all people referred to food banks are going hungry because their benefits have been delayed, stopped or cut. There is a real danger that food banks – intended to be an emergency service – are becoming institutionalised as part of our system, as the state abdicates its responsibility to provide a ‘safety net’ for all its citizens. Upcoming benefit reforms are likely to leave even more people hungry, and food banks may not be able to cope with the demand.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
More than 350,000 people turned to Trussell Trust food banks for help in 2012–13, almost triple the number who received food aid in the previous year, and 100,000 more than anticipated. 128,697 were fed by Trussell Trust food banks in 2011–12, up from 68,486 in 2010–11. The Trussell Trust has launched almost 150 new food banks in the last year, and is currently approving three new food banks a week. A wide array of local churches and other projects are also providing emergency food aid. On this basis, we estimate the real number now reliant on food aid to be in excess of half a million people, and this number is set to grow as changes to the benefits system take effect. In 2012-13, nearly a third of the Trussell Trust’s clients had been referred to food banks because their social security benefits had been delayed. A further 15% came as a result of their benefits being cut or stopped (up from 11% in 2011–12). The Trust said the majority of people turning to food banks were working-age families.
What is your solution?
To persuade the government to take action on this, we must first make them acknowledge the scale of the problem. At the moment, they do not gather any data on the use of food banks or the impact of benefit reforms on food poverty. Our first step must therefore be to persuade the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee to conduct an urgent inquiry into the relationship between benefit delay, error or sanctions, welfare reform changes, and the growth of food poverty.
How will you deliver this?
To ensure that the government takes action, we need to keep this issue in the news, mobilise large numbers of people to speak out, and demand that individual MPs and other policy-makers respond to our concerns. Our proposed publicity campaign will secure us more coverage in the media, recruit more supporters to speak out in support of the campaign, and confront politicians with the scandal of hunger once again. We have already achieved significant coverage in the national news. The launch of our report made headlines, and the issue continues to be featured in the news as politicians debate it. We have also mobilised thousands of campaigners to contact their MPs about this, through emails, postcards, petitions and face-to-face meetings. The majority of MPs have now received messages about this issue from concerned constituents. Both Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty have been invited to give evidence to the Select Committee – but they have not yet committed to launch an inquiry. We therefore need to maintain the pressure and ensure that this issue is not ignored.

Get involved

Here are some great ways to get involved with the project and help out. If you have...
  • 2 minutes
    Send an email to your MP, supporting our call for an inquiry:
  • 5 minutes
    Watch a short video from Oxfam about food banks and benefits:
  • 15 minutes
    Read more about food poverty and the ‘Poverty Premium’ on our blog:
  • 30 minutes
    Read our report, Walking the Breadline:
  • A few hours
    If you go to church, arrange a church service on the theme of food povetry, using our free liturgy materials:
  • Regular time commitment
    Pledge to take part in our regular email actions, working to Close the Gap between rich and poor:

Share your comments

Opinions and comments mentioned on the FundIt.Buzz website are the personal views of individual contributors. FundIt.Buzz takes no responsibility for these views. However if you find something that you think does not meet our guidelines you can report it to
Church Action on Poverty 18 September 2013 - 11:52

Thank you both for the feedback - we will certainly consider all your suggestions.

mutterflump 18 September 2013 - 05:47

I don't do Facebook or Twitter, but wish to comment on something said by David Huffadine-Smith in your "Buzz on the Project" column, which seems to be mostly coming from those two social media groups. I agree with him 100% that not eating is not funny, but I think the rest of your approach in your poster is spot on. Had you said "witty" instead of "funny" in your "About this project", it would have been fine. Promoting a cause like this is always so delicate, you don't want to discourage anyone. I have been an enthusiastic CAP member for over 20 years now, but find so many of my good Christian friends are quite hung up about things being "political",(and of course your powerful and witty poster is highly political in its allusion) that I hesitate to contact many of them about it. But don't get me wrong - I think you're doing marvellous work about this scandal of hungry Britain, and have been glad to donate to your campaign.

Wishing you all the very best,
Caroline Zvegintzov.

frith 17 September 2013 - 16:00

I agree its eye-catching; of course it re-uses that labour party queue on billboards a few years ago in our election campaigns.
So to subvertise that, a change of wording is highly relevant eg "Britons aren't eating" or "Britons don't get to eat" so the emphasis doesn't fall on recalling the previous imagery & phrases usage but the mind goes forwards into a new idea instead.

What do you think?

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About the organisation

Vision and mission

Church Action on Poverty is a national ecumenical Christian social justice charity, committed to tackling poverty in the UK. We work in partnership with churches and with people in poverty themselves to find solutions to poverty, locally, nationally and globally. We want to see significant changes in policy and practice, including: action to reduce tax avoidance and evasion; fairer employment (with public bodies and churches paying the Living Wage); better access to affordable credit; and a reduction in the ‘poverty premium’. We work to achieve this through lobbying, campaigning and social media. We aim to build a bigger movement with a unified multi-faith voice, comprised of national networks and local groups, which listens to people in poverty and amplifies their voice.

Geographical coverage

Within UK

Our track record

We have been working to tackle UK poverty since 1982. Recent campaign successes include: persuading all the UK’s Christian denominations to pay the Living Wage; working with high-cost lenders and people in poverty to develop a Code for Responsible Lending; persuading the Financial Conduct Authority to regulate payday lenders more strictly; and working with Ofgem to make it easier for people on low incomes to access affordable energy. We have also pioneered the use of grassroots, participatory approaches to tackling UK poverty, including: popular education; participatory budgeting; Sustainable Livelihoods; and community organising.

Who do we help?

Our work aims to close the gap between rich and poor, helping anybody suffering from poverty and social exclusion. Our campaigns focus on the injustices caused by inequality. In our grassroots work, we focus on the most deprived and excluded communities.

How do we deliver this?

Our unique strength is that we combine two approaches: grassroots community work alongside people with real experience of the issues; and national campaigns which mobilise a network of churches and individuals to amplify the voices of people in poverty.