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Ending the need for foodbanks: What are we doing to bring about change?

Our vision for change

We believe foodbanks should not need to exist. Everyone should have enough money to afford to buy the essentials and live with dignity. We draw upon the wealth of stories and data within our foodbank to identify the pressures people are facing and to seek change from decision-makers. We are working with other local charities and agencies to develop community resilience and sustainable support networks, with the aim of creating strong pathways out of foodbank use.

People in Eastbourne who experience food insecurity need a cash-first approach to protect them from destitution.


Leanne, an Eastbourne Foodbank client, said: “The foodbank is amazing but it shouldn’t be this way. There are so many of us coming – you chat to people here – we all have our problems, we all have a story, but the common theme is that we are all skint.”



Local campaigns

Joint work between our financial inclusion and campaigns teams, our foodbank clients and other charities has identified that local council tax arrangements cause significant difficulties for many of the people we work with.


Our campaigns team has proposed the following changes to Eastbourne Borough Council:

  • An end to bailiff enforcement for all those in receipt of council tax reduction
  • Implement a 100% council tax reduction for people on the lowest incomes (those currently receiving an 80% reduction)
  • Alert people on low incomes to their entitlement from council tax reduction and allow these to be backdated for longer than six months

We believe these measures would have a significant, positive impact on people living with the experience of poverty in Eastbourne and would decrease the number of people needing to use our service.


National campaigns

Eastbourne Foodbank is part of The Trussell Trust’s network of foodbanks. We are calling for systemic change in order to bring about the end of the need for foodbanks.

Our current campaign, in partnership with  Joseph Rowntree Foundation, calls on all political parties to sign up to the Essentials Guarantee pledge.

In the last financial year, food banks in the Trussell Trust network have seen the highest ever level of need, distributing close to 3 million (2,986,203) emergency food parcels — including more than a million to children. This is the most parcels the network has ever distributed in a single year.

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.

Currently a single person over the age of 25 receives £84.80 in Universal Credit. People under 25 receive £67.20. Our analysis indicates the current level of Universal Credit would need to be at least £120 a week for a single adult and £200 for a couple in order to ensure the essentials were affordable:


Could you get a week’s worth of food for £37? Our campaigns team made a meal plan for the week and headed to a budget supermarket to see if it was possible.



Do you agree Universal Credit should be set according to the cost of essentials? Follow this link to support the Essentials Guarantee campaign:


Campaigns in the news

Eastbourne during the cost of living crisis (May 2023):


Trussell Trust’s end of year stats show demand in Eastbourne and across the UK has never been higher (April 2023):


Foodbank’s campaigns manager Jess Holliday speaks to MPs in parliament (March 2023):


Eastbourne Foodbank statistics show a 125 per cent increase on last year (November 2022):

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