One Direction star teams up with Christian food bank charity to help people struggling in pandemic

Liam Payne, far left, with other members of the pop group One DirectionReuters/Neil Hall

One Direction star Liam Payne is supporting the work of the Trussell Trust as it prepares to help more people in financial hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trussell Trust is bracing itself for an increase in demand for emergency food handouts and is anticipating delivering over 360,000 meals to people in crisis over the next three months.

Last year, the trust provided 1.6 million food parcels to people in crisis, with more than half a million of these going to children. 

Payne has stepped forward to support the charity as it launches a crisis fund for food banks in his home region of the Midlands as well as cities across the UK. 

The funds will go towards hiring more staff, delivery vehicles and space, as well as buying food. 

He said: "It's not right that anyone in our country is unable to afford food. Food banks do incredible work to help the people most in need of support. It's vital that we get support to those people right now, as this crisis unfolds.

"The Trussell Trust is working with food banks across the country to ensure emergency help is there for people who don't have money for the basics.

"But I'm also donating because of the work they do to work towards a future where no one needs a food bank – we can't end the conversation with getting emergency food to people – as vital as that is. When we're out the other side of this, we need to look at why there are people in our country who don't have enough money for food.

The Trussell Trust relies on volunteers and food donations to provide emergency food parcels to people in crisisPhoto: The Trussell Trust

"I want to play my part in finding a solution to ensure people have enough money to buy their own food – and end the need for food banks."

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust said, "We are so grateful to Liam for this generous donation. This will help us continue to support our network of food banks to provide the best possible emergency help to people referred at an uncertain time.

"We're working with food banks across the country to make big changes to the way food banks work, so we can get emergency food to people in the safest way possible.

"This isn't easy. Our main priority is the safety of everyone at a food bank, and having support like this helps us ensure that emergency support can continue to be available in the safest possible way. But ultimately, no one should need to use a food bank.

"Everyone should be able to afford their own food. Liam's support will help people in the Midlands and other key cities get the emergency support they need today, while working towards a future where people have enough money for the essentials in life."