A WEARSIDE food bank is one of six in the country to pilot a new financial advice service.
Food bank charity the Trussell Trust is to launch the scheme next month, which is being part-funded by money-saving expert TV campaigner, Martin Lewis.
Based in Durham, the Trust says it is in response to the sharp rise in people being referred to food banks who are in severe financial hardship.
New research shows that 12 per cent of UK families have taken out a pay day loan to make ends meet in the last year while 24 per cent of them have fallen into debt trying to provide for their family.
Between April and September last year, 12,479 adults and 6,547 children living on the breadline turned to food banks in Durham and Sunderland.
David McAuley, Trussell Trust chief executive, said: “It’s deeply concerning that basics of dignified life in modern Britain – food, heat, electricity – can fall out of reach for so many.”
A six-figure sum donated by Martin Lewis will be supplemented with Trussell Trust funds, allowing people in need to be able to access a range of support, including debt advice.