MONEY-saving expert Martin Lewis has donated a six figure sum to help Salisbury-based charity the Trussell Trust introduce a pilot triage system for its foodbanks scheme.

The scheme will see foodbanks partner with debt and money-management charities to provide instant financial help to people who can’t afford to feed their families.

The pilot project was announced as new research shows that more than one in ten UK families have taken out a pay day loan to make ends meet in the last year and a quarter of UK families have fallen into debt to be able to provide for the family. Over 900,000 people received three days’ emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks in 2013/14 financial year – 163 per cent more than the previous year.

David McAuley, Trussell Trust chief executive said: “By introducing a financial triage service in foodbanks, where clients are able to connect with free financial and debt advice, people will be given professional help to manage tight finances, avoid payday lenders and structure debt to prevent the situation from getting worse and to help people break out of crisis much faster.”

Mr Lewis added: “Those who go to foodbanks are already open to asking for help.

“They’ve rightly prioritised the urgent need to feed themselves and their children. “Yet if we can intervene at that point to start to get their financial lives back on track, by approachable, non-judgemental help, it will hopefully cut down the number of return visits.”