We’ve joined over 200 organisations nationwide, including the North East Child Poverty Commission, in signing an open letter to Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer. 

The letter, led by The Trussell Trust and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, calls on both party leaders to urgently develop a plan to provide immediate relief to families struggling with hardship. It also calls for a commitment from both leaders to develop a serious and ambitious strategy to build a future where everyone can afford the essentials and no one needs a food bank to survive.    

The full letter is below; find out more on The Trussell Trust website.

Dear Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, 

We are writing to you as a diverse network of organisations united by our shared desire to see an end to poverty and hardship in the UK.   

This general election is taking place against a backdrop of deep and growing hardship. Just last month (May), 7 million low-income households were forced to go without essentials like food, adequate clothing and basic toiletries, and over the past year, food banks in the Trussell Trust network distributed a record 3.1 million emergency food parcels. Most shockingly of all, almost 4 million people, including 1 million children, experienced destitution in 2022 – more than double the rate from five years previously.  

Such levels of hardship are unacceptable in the UK and cannot be allowed to continue. The public are deeply concerned about the situation and believe it is the UK Government’s responsibility to right this wrong. It is clear they want to see action and commitments to turn this situation around so that no one is forced to go without essentials or to need a food bank to survive.  

Yet right now there is a stark lack of focus from either of you on how you intend to tackle these issues if elected as Prime Minister next month. Families facing such levels of hardship cannot wait for the promise of growth, nor should they have to – the UK is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and has the resources to act now. Failing to do so is a political choice.   

Together, we call on you to urgently set out a plan to help provide immediate relief to families struggling with hardship, as well as commit to developing a serious and ambitious strategy to build a future where everyone can afford the essentials, and no one needs a food bank to survive.    

Yours Sincerely,  

The Trussell Trust  

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation