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Trussell Trust’s Email To Campaigner Says They Know Nothing About IDS Foodbank Benefits Advisor Plans

November 3, 2015

After campaigner Rick B started this petition yesterday, he received the following email from the Trussell Trust:

Dear Rick

We’ve seen your petition on and wanted to clarify a few things from The Trussell Trust’s perspective, which we hope will be useful.

The story that Iain Duncan Smith is going to put job advisers in foodbanks was inaccurately reported by media last week. The Trussell Trust, which runs a network of over 420 foodbanks, has had no conversations with the DWP or Iain Duncan Smith about this and has not agreed to roll out this idea. Neither has The Trussell Trust been involved in any pilots. No Trussell Trust foodbank would ever need to worry about being forced to have a DWP advisor in a foodbank, and no Trussell Trust foodbank would be encouraged to do anything that they felt might jeopardise the non-judgemental environment our foodbanks operate in. We have no plans to place DWP ‘job advisers’ in Trussell Trust foodbanks.

At a local level, The Trussell Trust has been discussing ideas to improve DWP processes in order to reduce the number of people left hungry due to problems with benefits delivery. One idea discussed privately with some foodbanks and a small number of backbench MPs (but not yet discussed with DWP) was to give foodbank clients ‘opt in’ access to specific welfare advisers tasked with ‘troubleshooting’ benefit related admin errors, delays or payments that had lead people to need foodbanks. The idea (which has not even been piloted) would be to right the wrongs of the current system which can leave people without an income for weeks or even months, and this person might be available on the phone rather than in a foodbank. This is very different to a ‘job adviser’. We have not spoken with any MPs about placing job advisers in foodbanks and we are keen to highlight that many people at foodbanks are in work. Furthermore, the DWP/JCP actively addressing the benefit delivery problems that it is responsible for could be positive, but this is very different to advising people at foodbanks on employment.

Ultimately we want to find ways to reduce the number of people needing foodbanks because of benefit problems. Given that 44% of referrals to foodbanks are a direct result of benefit related issues, we want to encourage the DWP to change practice in a way that helps resolve this problem, but it is fundamental that whatever solutions are suggested have the interests and wellbeing of foodbank clients at the fore.

Following DWP comments, and the media reports last week, we have asked to urgently meet the Department of Work and Pensions to give our thoughts on ways of working that would offer a better solution for foodbanks clients.

We hope this reassures you.

Best wishes


Molly Hodson
Head of Media and External Affairs

Same Difference has published the email with permission of Rick B.
If, as the email suggests, the reports of benefits advisors being sent to foodbanks were inaccurate, Same Difference wishes to apologise to readers for any stress we caused by reporting the information. Several disability campaigners and bloggers have seen the distress these reports caused to their readers, so it is to be hoped that the reports will remain inaccurate.
5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2015 9:33 am

    So really this was fed to the media to see what the reaction would be, can’t see where else this could have come from but via the DWP/IDS i

  2. November 3, 2015 11:59 am

    Reblogged this on campertess and commented:
    This is unbelievable…..Was it the DWP or ids that did it or was it the media themselves?….I’m gobsmacked tbh.

  3. jaypot2012 permalink
    November 3, 2015 5:04 pm

    I think IDS did this with a huge help from the media. The stories that have been coming out of the media are so far fetched in ways that you know that IDS is behind it all.
    I’m glad that the Trussell Trust is having nothing to do with such a ridiculous idea and has stated so in this email that they have allowed to be shared.

  4. November 4, 2015 12:08 pm

    Glad to read this article. However, lots of Churches too run food banks. I heard an MP on TV say it was being trialled/going to be trialled. I am so glad that the Trussell Trust has decided if asked it will have nothing to do with it. Can they get a few free inches in the press to refute the idea that in every food bank folks will be facing the DWP?

    Reckon, he who pays the piper should call the tune. Food banks get food and money from the public and congregations to give the food under their agreed constitiion rules. If the Jobcentre want to give out food then they can have their own rules. If they do manage to put in their staff then they should pay for the office space for that mamber of staff to the food bank, and give a big fat grant. It will be a sad day if and when that does happen. Rather I would like to see a fit for purpose social security system and minimal need for charity involvement.


  1. If Trussell Trust Know Nothing About JobCentre Advisors In Foodbanks, Why Did They Suggest It Themselves? | Same Difference

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