The below letter was published in The Guardian as today, 16th April, a terrible new milestone was passed in food poverty. Statistics from the Trussell Trust, added to those from several studies of independent food banks, suggest one million food parcels were handed out over the last year as the safety net for the poor and vulnerable in Britain crumbles.

To the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, the Rt Hon Ed Miliband,

This Lent we, and thousands of others, made the rise of hunger in the UK the focus of our fasting. It has been a time of sorrowful and deep reflection on a rise we see every day in the numbers visiting foodbanks in towns and cities across the country.

The Trussell Trust figures, released today, only further illustrate this terrible rise, from 350,000 last year to over 900,000 this year. This figure, shocking as it is, is far from the total number of people going hungry in our country today – from those too ashamed to visit their local foodbank to those many families not in crisis but ever more worried about keeping the cupboards full. One in four is cutting portion sizes and half are cutting their household food budgets Lent has finally seen the beginning of a real national discussion on what this hunger means, what causes it, and how we as a society can begin rising to the challenge of this national crisis.

As we approach Easter the mind turns to the hope of spring, the promise of resurrection and renewal. The hope Easter symbolises this year is a quiet and determined one. The hope that sees more and more people respond to their neighbours’ need, volunteering and supporting their local foodbank. The hope that sees politicians from all parties come together with our colleague, the Bishop of Truro, to hear the real stories of UK hunger in a full and independent inquiry.

Hope is not an idle force. Hope drives us to act. It drives us to tackle the growing hunger in our midst. It calls on each of us, and government too, to act to make sure that work pays, that food markets support sustainable and healthy diets, and that the welfare system provides a robust last line of defence against hunger.

The fast is over, the work begins. We ask that you commit fully to engage with the independent inquiry into the rise of UK hunger, championing its recommendations, and agree to meet representatives of the End Hunger Fast
campaign to discuss how we can better work on these urgent issues together.

Yours faithfully,

Rt Rev Barry Morgan Archbishop of Wales
Rt Rev Andy John Bishop of Bangor
Rt Rev Nick Holtam Bishop of Salisbury
Rt Rev Alan Wilson Bishop of Buckingham
Rt Rev Colin Fletcher Bishop of Dorchester
Rt Rev Pete Broadbent Bishop of Willesden
Rt Rev John Wraw Bishop of Bradwell
Rt Rev Stephen Conway Bishop of Ely
Rt Rev Dave Walker Bishop of Manchester
Rt Rev Steven Croft Bishop of Sheffield
Rt Rev Peter Burrows Bishop of Doncaster
Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell Bishop of Chelmsford
Rt Rev Andrew Watson Bishop of Aston
Rt Rev Gregory Cameron Bishop of St Asaph
Rt Rev Martin Warner Bishop of Chichester
Rt Rev Jonathan Clark Bishop of Croydon
Rt Rev Mark Sowerby Bishop of Horsham
Rt Rev Paul Butler Bishop of Durham
Rt Rev Christopher Chessun Bishop of Southwark
Rt Rev Stephen Patten Bishop of Wakefield
Rt Rev Michael Perham Bishop of Gloucester
Rt Rev Alan Winton Bishop of Thetford
Rt Rev Julian Henderson Bishop of Blackburn
Rt Rev Adrian Newman Bishop of Stepney
Rt Rev Ian Brackley Bishop of Dorking
Rt Rev Chris Edmondson Bishop of Bolton
Rt Rev John Holbrook Bishop of Brixworth
Rt Rev Alan Smith Bishop of St Albans
Rt Rev Trevor Willmott Bishop of Canterbury
Rt Rev Peter Hancock Bishop of Bath and Wells
Rt Rev Peter Maurice Bishop of Taunton
Rt Rev Paul Bayes Bishop of Hertford
Rt Rev Michael Ipgrave Bishop of Woolwich
Rt Rev Paul Williams Bishop of Kensington
Rt Rev David Thomson Bishop of Huntingdon
Rt Rev Richard Atkinson Bishop of Bedford
Rt Rev james Bell Bishop of Knaresborough
Rt Rev Richard Inwood Acting Bishop, Southwell and Nottingham
Rt Rev Tony Porter Bishop of Sherwood
Rt Rev Andrew Proud Bishop of Reading
Rt Rev Christopher Coxworth Bishop of Coventry
Rt Rev Alastair Redfern Bishop of Derby
Rt Rev Geffrey Stafford Bishop of Lichfield
Rt Rev John Inge Bishop of Worcester
Rt Rev Alistair Magowen Bishop of Ludlow
Rt Rev Richard Blackburn Bishop of Warrington
Rt Rev John Armes Bishop of Edinburgh
Rt Rev John Pritchard Bishop of Oxford
Steve Clifford, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance
Revd Ernie Whalley President of the Baptist Union
Helen Drewery General Secretary of Quaker Peace and Social Witness
Chris Skidmore Clerk to Britain Yearly Meeting
Anne Ullathorne Assistant Clerk of Meeting for Sufferings
Charlotte Seymour-Smith Clerk of Quaker Peace and Social Witness
Ms Enid Pinch Clerk of the QPSW Economics, Sustainability & Peace sub-committee
Rev Richard Teal Chair of Cumbria Methodist District
Rev Jennifer Hurd Chair of the Wales Methodist Synod
Rev Vernon March Chair of Sheffield Methodist District
Rev Anne Brown Chair of Beds, Essex & Herts Methodist District
Rev Graham Thompson Chair of East Anglia Methodist District
Rev Bruce Thompson Chair of Lincolnshire Methodist District
Rev Dr Stuart Jordan Chair of London Methodist District
Rev. Jenny Impey London Methodist District
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Richard Church Moderator of the North West Synod of the United Reformed Church
Revd Roy Lowes United Reformed Church
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Rev Janet Appleby Ch of the Good Shepherd LEP
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Rev Ian Parker The Methodist Church in Newham
Mr David Price St Mark’s Broomhill Sheffield
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Dr Beth Rimmer St Aelred’s Harrogate
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Rev Jenny Adams Duffus, Spynie & Hopeman Church of Scotland
Mr Colin Rowe Churches Together in Gosport
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Mrs Sheila Himsworth Methodist Church, Evesham
Revd. Janice Jones Pontprennau Community Church and Church of the Resurrection St. Mellons
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Mrs Patricia James St Andrews Thornton Heath
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Reverend Tony Farrar St. John’s Methodist Whitley Bay
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Dr Sebastian Kraemer Whittington Hospital
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Revd Peter SUMMERS Prescot & Whiston Methodist Church
Rev’d A James Patron Bell Methodist Church of Great Briatin
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Cllr Vi Higgs Areley Kings Methodist
Mr Chikwe Ibeakanma Hinde Street Methodist Church
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Mr John Ibbotson Grange Road Methodist Church
Ms Jenny Jacobs PCN
Mr Derek Wood Parish Church, Stourport on Severn
Rev Richard Charlton Whalsay & Skerries Parish Church
Revd Georgina Brotherton Kilmorack & Erchless
Revd Canon Nick Wright Inkberrow Benefice
Rev Mark Meatcher Christchurch group of the URC
Reverend Robert Ramsay Invergowrie Parish Church of Scotland
Rev David Austin St Peter’s Parish Church
Mr Graham Rothwell St. Marys
Rev Canon Dr Ellen Loudon St Luke the Evangelist, Walton. Liverpool
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Mr Dave Nicks Slough foodbank
Miss Joan ryan Saint Mary’s Bicester
MR David Mutch Ormskirk Christian Fellowship
Canon Cyril Roberts Honorary Canon Emeritus of Sheffield Cathedral
Mrs Christine Orme St Agnes, Reading
Mrs Janet Wright Stevenage All Saints
Revd Elaine Dando Holy Trinity, Hurstpierpoint
Reverend Richard Heard St Francis of Assisi, West Bessacarr
Ms Helen Boothroyd Churches Together in Cumbria & Churches Together in Lancashire
Mr Richard Simpson Mother of God Sheffield
mr eifion williams atherton food bank
Miss Alice Gomez University of Liverpool Chaplaincy
Rev Jim MacEwan Church of Scotland
Rev Dr Sarah Hall South-West Hants Group of the United Reformed Church
rev Simon Moore Simon Moore
Rev Robert Jordan United Reformed Church
Rev Phil Clarke Burnley Methodist Circuit
Rev Peter Jordan URC
The Rev’d Christopher Collins The Methodist Church in Britain
Parch. John Owen Eglwys Bresbyteraidd y Tabernacl Rhuthun
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Reverend Paul Tyler Birmingham Central Baptist Church
Mrs Jo Freeman Ashton Middle School
Reverend Simon White St. John the Baptist Tideswell
Revd David Lawton Methodist Church
Mrs Dorothy Getliffe Church of Scotland
Rev Jonathan Chesworth Shropshire and Marches Methodist Circuit
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Mrs Sue Liddell Saxmundham URC
Mrs Anna Lamb Christian
Mr John Bainbridge C of E
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Mrs June Barr Fettteresso Church
Rev Rowena Francis Wells United Church
Mr John Parr St.Paul’s Godley Hyde,Cheshire
Revd Jane Campbell Stamford United Reformed Church & ChristChurch LEP, Grantham
Rev Norma Moore Jamestown Parish Church
Rev Graham Claydon-Knights North Bedfordshire Methodist Church
Reverend Janet Pybon Chorley & Leyland Circuit
Rev Gordon Hay East Kilbride and Pollokshaws Methodist Church
Rev Rachael Hawkins All Saints’ Church, Berkhamsted and St Martha’s Church, Tring
Reverend Jeremy Tear St.John’s, Caversham
Revd Sarah Jemison Bradford North Circuit
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Canon Peter Hutchinson All Saints, Keighley
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The Revd Wealands Bell St Andrew’s, Croydon
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Rev’d Colin Oxenforth Christchurch, Waterloo
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Rev Paul Roberts St John the Evangelist, Old Coulsdon
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Mr Robin Stubbs St. John’s Yeadon, Leeds
Rev Ian Pearce Queen Street Baptist Church, Erith
Rev’d Nick Alexander St Peter in Eastgate Church Lincoln
Revd Roy Lowes United Reformed Church
Reverend Jenny Hills Tommy’s, Lenton, Nottingham
Deacon Lyn Gallimore Chorlton & Manley Park Methodist
Revd Sharon Potter Cockfield Benefice
Reverend Tracey McLoughlin St Paul’s, Skelmersdale
Revd. Paul Summers St Peter, Addingham, Ilkley
Reverend Felicity Ferriter The Leverton and Rampton Group of Parishes
MR SEAN DOOLEY Thameside Church
Rev. Robert Davies Ashton-u-Lyne Methodist Circuit
Rev Penny Leemam St Athanasius
Rev Henry Corbett St Peter’s and St John Chrysostom’s Everton
Revd Alan Dawson West Cheshire Foodbank
Revd James Tebbutt Gloucestershire Methodist Circuit
Rev Mike Coates All Saints Liverpool
Rev. Cuthbert Jackson St Paul’s Skelmersdale
Reverend Steve Davies Christchurch Abbeydale
Rev Noel Sharp HUcclecote Methodist
Rev. Mr. Peter Bowyer St. Filumena’s Caverswall
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Revd. Preb. Maureen Hobbs St Chad, Pattingham
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Revd Canon Celia Thomson Gloucester Cathedral
Revd Paul Cowan St George’s Newbury
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The Reverend Robin Figg Parish of St Andrew, Kildwick (Diocese of Bradford
Rev Anne Brown Beds, Essex & Herts Methodist District
Rev Canon Gordon Tarry St Aidan
Rev Richard Walker St John’s Church, Yeadon
Reverend Sue Caddy All Hallows, Ordsall
Revd. Graham Thompson East Anglia District
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Fr James Cutts Worth Abbey
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Rev Sally Spencer Lindley, Fartown, Cowcliffe Methodist Church
Revd Dr Simon Topping Stroud Methodist Church
Revd Brian Ranford Highworth URC
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Rev Dr John Emmett Gloucestershire
Revd Alexander Faludy Wallsend St. John
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Rev Edwin Gunn Queens Park Baptist Church, Glasgow
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Rev’d Philip DeRoy-Jones Parish of Pontlottyn w. Fochriw
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Reverend Barbara Wood parish of Llanharan
Rev Ian Fowler Bourton Baptist Church
Rev Les Wallace Kirkoswlad & Alston Moor
Mr Brian Watts Shaftesbury Christian Centre
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Revd Martin Hazell Moat United Reformed Church, East Grinstead
Mr David Chadwick Caterham Community Church
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Mr Matt Barlow The Light Church/Bradford Foodbank
Rev Andy West Wheatley Park Baptist Church
Revd Steve Faber Riverside Church, Sleaford
Mrs Helen Lidgett St Andrew’s URC Chesterfield
Rev Jonathan Croucher Christ Church Gipsy Hill
Mr Andrew Williamson St Andrew’s Parish Church Blantyre
Deacon Jill Taylor Methodist Church Hull City Centre
Mr Ifan Davies Evangelical
Mrs Margaret Tuck North Wingfield Team
Mr Barry Wales Harefield Church
Reverend Paul Wilkin St. John’s, Stansted Mountfitchet
Mr Joseph Boadu Christian Life Fellowship
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Mr Mark Mansell New Life Church Rugby
Rev’d Imogen Nay St Andrew’s
Mr David Hughes Oakhall Church
Rev Christopher Fallon St Teresa’s, Norris Green
Father Graeme Dunne St Sylvester’s Parish Liverpool
Rev Brendan Rice Irenaeus
Father Philip Gregory Holy Family Southporh
Father John Hindley St Marie’s Standish, Wigan
Revd Carol Pharaoh Farnworth, Kearsley, Stoneclough Team
Fr Stephen Maloney All Saints RC Liverpool
Mr Shaun Croston St John The Evangelist, Farnworth
Rev Fr Gordon Abbs St Stephen RC Church, Warrington.
Rev Gerard Oshaughnessy St James RC Parish family
Revd Elisabeth Tyler Birmingham Central Baptist Church
Father bernard obrien St. Pauls R>C> Church
Rev Andrew Hardwick Rugby and Daventry Methodist Circuit
Dr Steven Mann St Johns Farnworth
Mr Des Humphrey St. Peter’s, Hersham (Walton & Hersham Foodbank)
Reverend Diane Bussey Christ church
Mrs Jil Donley Ipswich Road,U.R.C. Norwich
Mr John Wright Rugby etc Methodist Circuit
Fr. Michael Fitzsimons St. John the Evangelist
Rev Margaret Simmons St John the Baptist
Fr Dave Heywood St Margaret Clitherow, Leigh
Rev Michael O’Neill St. Bede’s
Rev Fr Malcolm Prince St John Fisher, Widnes
Mr Mark Vening YWAM Cymru/Wales
Reverend Barry Killick Elim Pentecostal
Rev.Fr Peter Fox St.Luke’s, Whiston, Merseyside
Fr John McLoughlin Pastroal formation Depa
Rev Richard James Community of Christ
Rev Thomas Neylon St Julie and St Teresa of Avila parishes
Rev. Brian Newns Roman Catholic Church
Mr Gareth Jones ChristChurch, Wrexham
rev leo stoker corpuschristi
Rev Kathryn Taylor HAEBEA
Evangelist Richard Holmes Community of Christ, Nuneaton
Dr Malcolm Wearing St John’s Church Farnworth
Rev Ross Moughtin Christ Church, Aughton
Pastor Joy Blundell Alive church
Rev. Roger Clarke Catholic Church
Reverend Patricia Belshaw Leyland St.Ambrose
Revd Graham Maskery Christ Church URC
Rev. Jenny Impey London Methodist District
Rev Richard Sloan Liverpool Archdiocese
Revd Dr Stuart Jordan Methodist
Reb Nick Wilde St. Joseph & St. Laurence
Mrs Kim McIntyre St John Farnworth
Reverend Kenneth Evans Chester St. Baptist Ch. Wrexham
Mrs Patricia Golding Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Reverend James Higgs Holy Apostles
Mr Andrew Fox Community of Christ
Mr Jon Wilson Rainbow Centre
Very Rev Canon Derek Turnham Sacred Heart and St Augustine, Redcar
Mrs Laura Fisher Highworth Community Church
Mr Stephen Moore Wrexham Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Mr Anthony Cousins Bilton Methodist
Miss Gillian Glenn Bilton Methodist Church
Mr Neil Rees Cottage Lane Mission
Helen Drewery Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW) General Secretary
Rev Richard Henderson Sole Bay Team Ministry
Revd Tom Wilson St James and Christ Church, Gloucester
Revd Jonathan Clark St George’s Church, Leeds
Revd Matthew Page Stroud Team Ministry, Diocese of Gloucester
Gary Serra di Migni Urban Expression Victoria Park
Revd Allison Claxton Peasley Cross URC
Revd Stephen Lingwood Bank Street Unitarian Chapel, Bolton
Revd Ray Gaston Queens Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education and Hon Assistant Priest in the Benefice of Balsall Heath & Edgbaston Birmingham
Mr Ian Ley Newall Gren Baptist Church
Anna Bishop All Souls, Langham Place
Mr Dan Frith St Mark’s Church, Battersea Rise
The Venerable Elwin Cockett Archdeacon of West Ham
Revd Eva McIntyre Stourport on Severn & Wilden
Revd Paul Cowley Holy Trinity Brompton