IFAN repsonds to the ASDA, Trussell Trust and FareShare announcement

By agency reporter
February 10, 2018

On 8 February2018, it was announced that Asda, The Trussell Trust and Fareshare had entered into a £20 million partnership. The Trussell Trust said, 'The Fight Hunger Create Change programme will give support directly to foodbanks across the UK to expand their services to help more people in crisis, and enable us to develop our More Than Food projects, such as holidays clubs and Eat Well Spend Less courses, that help build resilience so people are less likely to need a foodbank in the future.'

In response, the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) a network of independent, grassroots food aid providers across the UK released the following statement:

"IFAN is deeply disappointed with the recent announcement of FareShare and the Trussell Trust’s £20 million partnership with the British supermarket ASDA, at a time when colleagues across the sector are seeking ways to move the UK away from its reliance on charitable food aid and address the wider problems of food insecurity.

"The choice to partner with ASDA is especially disappointing given the company’s own record on low pay.

"In 2015 a report by Citizens UK found ASDA to be employing 120,000 low paid workers, requiring £221,337,000 in public subsidies (for example, in the form of in-work benefits) to enable these workers to afford a basic standard of living; £70 million more than ASDA contributed in tax to the Treasury.

"Though in March 2017 ASDA claim to have offered all staff an increase in minimum pay to £8.50 an hour, for those agreeing to new ‘flexible working’ arrangements, in February 2018 Glassdoor.co.uk are still reporting hourly rates of pay for Customer Assistants and Grocery Colleagues at ASDA of £7.39 per hour and £7.38 per hour; both of which remain below the National Minimum Wage (£7.83 per hour) and a long way below the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s recommended minimum Voluntary Living Wage.

"ASDA is owned by the US corporate giant Walmart, who have donated more than $100 million to the Feeding America campaign since 2005, but whose own workers sometimes have to rely on food banks to survive."

* Further information on corporate funding of food aid in the USA here

* Independent Food Aid Network http://www.foodaidnetwork.org.uk/

[Ekk/6]

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