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Foodbank users to receive extra help

24 February 2017


CHRISTIANS Against Poverty (CAP) and the Trussell Trust have entered into a partnership that will allow foodbank clients to receive help more easily with debt prob­lems, joblessness, and addic­tion.

The organisations an­­­­nounced on Wednesday of last week that they were “joining forces . . . to bring sus­tained help for people in crisis”. The Trussell Trust realises that many of those who visit foodbanks also have other problems — such as addictions, long-term unemploy­ment, or debt — that CAP’s services seek to address. These services include debt counselling, jobs clubs, and “release groups”, which “help people break free from life-con­­troll­ing habits like drinking, smok­ing, gambling, or internet ad­dic­tions,” CAP says.

The partnership agreement is intended to allow foodbank clients to be “more naturally connected to churches” that offer CAP services. This could take the form, for example, that a CAP volunteer was present at a foodbank, to speak to users about its services. It is also expected that CAP debt counsellors could point clients in the direction of foodbanks, since about half of people who seek debt help are in need of emergency food.

The Trussell Trust’s foodbank network director, Adrian Curtis, said: “This new agreement means it will be even more easy for people with debt, unemployment, or bud­­geting problems to find a more positive future.”

The chief executive of CAP, Matt Barlow, said: “Many of our partner churches are already helping their communities by running a Trussell Trust foodbank alongside a CAP centre; so there’s a natural crossover, and it makes total sense for our organisations to now be formally linked. We are looking forward to seeing foodbanks and CAP centres around the UK working together to provide hope and solutions to help people stay out of crisis.”

The Trussell Trust already has a partnership agreement with the debt advice agency Community Money Advice.

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