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Tackle hunger from your sofa NOW: Text £3 to a food bank… #22mealsforacoffee

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So the #22mealsforacoffee hashtag is still going viral and the original post is second only to the original Hunger Hurts for hits on my blog now, with 100,000 today alone.

In the meantime, Ocado and Tesco have expressed an interest in adding a ‘Food bank pack’ to their online shop as an option for people to donate…

But while they make their minds up in their offices – (I mean, it can’t be much more difficult than inserting a button, adding it onto the online shop, the picker that does the online orders segregates the food bank bit into a big separate box in the store/warehouse, and they deliver once a day?) – I’ve found an EASY way to donate that £3 from the comfort of your sofa.

Simply text FBUK13 £3 to 70070 to donate to the Trussell Trust, the UKs largest provider of emergency food packs. The Trussell Trust aren’t the only food bank provider in the UK, with many churches, Salvation Army halls, community centres, charities and community groups also organising their own for their neighbourhoods.

BUT if you can’t get out to do that shop, or you don’t know where your nearest food bank is, or you ‘would’ click that online shop button but it just doesn’t exist yet – then you can still help get emergency food parcels to people that need it.

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Text FBUK13 £3 to 70070 to donate those #22mealsforacoffee, or a pint of beer, or a new nail polish, or a phone vote for I’m an x factor celebrity that’s got talent in the jungle – whatever you might have spent it on, please do this instead.

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack

A Girl Called Jack is available to order here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Girl-Called-Jack-Monroe/dp/0718178947

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20 replies »

  1. Me too, Had a £5 off £40 spend in Tesco for this week, so spent it on RAFT (Rossendale Foodbank). So pleased to be able to tell you that we have recently been awarded just under £10k from Awards for All and now have a free for a year storage facility for our donations. Well done to Kate and Caroline for all of their hard work in securing these funds, facilities and volunteers.

  2. This excerpt from Trussell Trust report worries me:

    “What appears to be new in the case of the Trussell Trust Foodbank is the professionalisation and formalisation of such provision through a nation-wide initiative. In this way, the Network moves the UK closer to the experiences of North American countries where such initiatives have become common place and are now well established within their welfare landscapes.”

    I’d like more information on Trussell Trust about what funding they receive and how it is spent along with the £1500 startup plus annual fee they charge churches for opening a foodbank franchise.

    Until then I’m cool with taking the items you suggested to the local foodbank as often as I can.

    • I had a ferret around the Charity Commission’s website. Funding comes from individuals, groups and corporate sponsors. The model they’re using is a bit like a franchise – the £1,500 donation gives you the right to use their name, access to ongoing support to enable you to run your food bank successfully etc but comes with expectations about how you run it. The local food banks here are run independently as the people who set them up wanted to run things slightly differently.

      • Thanks Tubbs. So all the £3 donations are going directly to Trussell Trust, is there any way we can find out how much of that money will turn into food at food banks?

    • Hi Shirley Anne. There is a big difference between Trussell Trust model and that in US. TT has a very organised network which makes this an efficient organisation but they only feed people in crisis for 3-9 days unless there is a longer term need and that latter group is a very small percentage of the total.. In this way people do not become reliant on foodbanks. Foodbanks also signpost clients to agencies that can either resolve the problem or make it less of an issue.

      The £1500 covers a large amount of training and assistance before they open and in their first year, also a website, data collection system, provision of a conference, regional meetings, access to a forum and inclusion in the partnerships with people like Tesco and Asda which help provide food and give foodbanks a source of income. TT estimates that the £1500 has around £6000 of value. The big benefit of this system is that it keeps ownership of the foodbank local and people know they are supporting their own community.

      (I am Head of Fundraising at TT)

      All TT funding is “voluntary” that is it is from trust funds, private donors and raised through our social enterprise projects – we have no government funding.

      This is why this initiative is so amazing but foodbanks still need food to so however you choose to help will be very gratefully received. If you have any more questions mark.ward@trusselltrust.org

  3. Hi Jack, the text number doesn’t work from Australia (as I suspected), but I’d still like to help. What about a PayPal donate button through the blog maybe? Love your work x

  4. I read the headline and thought you were going to suggest looking down the back of your sofa for lost change! I don’t think its such a daft idea, text sent

  5. Foodbanks should not just be for people 3 times per year what happens to them inbetween people loose their money now for long periods of time with no help where are they to turn then and why have they got to be referred by the likes of social services etc and what happens to them when they cant afford to travel to a foodbank surely now with so many needy people they should be able to just turn up at these and surely someone in government should be taking note of how many needy people there is and put a stop to this savage cuts

  6. Thought this might interest you, there is a selection of their products currently available at Target (a very popular store in the US) http://www.feedprojects.com/feedusa_target

    Whilst I hope that the UK will step up with food banks in the short term I really, really hope it doesn’t go the way of the US. Here instead of tackling the causes of hunger and insuring that welfare is the safety net it should be the setting up of these permanent Food Banks just means that the failings of programs like Food Stamps/SNAP are tolerated and not challenged. I guess what I’m saying is that while helping those whose need is immediate please don’t take the pressure off the government to do the right thing.

  7. Don’t have a food bank locally so I’ll give to this, but like Richard I’d prefer to give to one that isn’t connected to a religious organisation as I’m convinced that on a world wide basis religion causes more harm than good.

  8. People might want to know that some PAYG phones tot up the amount you top up and invite you to save for a new phone (like I need a new phone, when this second hand one does fine!) or to claim it back as a top up. Claiming the money back and then sending 1 text is a great way for people like me who can’t afford to buy extra food at the moment, but want to help others.

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