EAST Lothian Foodbank was represented at a Westminster meeting calling on the UK Government to back The Trussell Trust’s ‘Guarantee Our Essentials’ campaign.

Lucy Daniels, community participation and campaigns lead at East Lothian Foodbank, was at the meeting, which took place at the end of last month.

She joined representatives from foodbanks throughout the UK, who talked with politicians about the campaign and the struggles facing foodbanks.

The Trussell Trust’s Guarantee Our Essentials campaign is calling for an increase in Universal Credit to ensure families can afford essential goods.

The trust is urging members of the public to sign a petition in support of the campaign.



Lucy told the Courier: “It was a productive event at Westminster. We met with a range of politicians and it is clear to see that the concern about demand at foodbanks is a cross-party thing. We spoke with Conservative MPs and Labour MPs, and people are in agreement.

“We are seeing demand at an all-time high for foodbanks across the country, and it is worse down in England. We are calling for the Universal Credit payment to meet the amount required for essential purchases.

“We believe this is the minimum that should be given.”

Last month, East Lothian Foodbank supported nearly 600 households, with 83 per cent of those supported having benefits as their only source of income.

Lucy added: “We are here to support people, but foodbanks are a short-term fix. We need to be looking at how we can prevent the need for foodbanks and ensure people can fund their own food.

“People should not have to be choosing between feeding their kids or keeping the house warm.

“I think our message was well received by a wide range of MPs. East Lothian MP Kenny MacAskill wasn’t there, unfortunately, but Kenny has backed our campaign for a while now.

“We have had good support from all East Lothian-based MSPs too. But we need to see action.”