The Disability Download

Fuel poverty and food banks: Why disabled people are turning to the Trussell Trust

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Follow Leonard Cheshire and the Trussell Trust 

You can follow Leonard Cheshire on Twitter or Instagram @LeonardCheshire. Find out more at You can follow Trussell Trust on Twitter or Facebook @TrussellTrust or via

About the Trussell Trust

The Trussell Trust exists so we can all be free from hunger.

Together, the Trussell Trust has more than 1,300 local food bank centres across the UK, providing practical support for people facing hardship. But emergency food isn’t a long-term solution to hunger.

People need food banks when they don’t have enough money for essentials. It’s not right that anyone needs a food bank to get by. This can be changed this by ensuring everyone has enough income to eat, stay warm and stay dry. That's why the Trussell Trust also work with communities across the UK to change the things that push people to need a food bank

About fuel poverty

Martin refers to fuel poverty. According to the common understanding of fuel poverty, someone is in fuel poverty when they find it extremely difficult to find the money to heat their home.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), someone in fuel poverty finds themselves in the following situation: 

  • when they spend the required amount to heat their home, they are left with a residual income below the official poverty line
  • they are living in a property with a fuel poverty energy efficiency rating of band D or below