World Food Day – 5 ways you can help tackle food poverty in the UK!
By Amber Tennant
The UK may be the seventh richest country in the world, but rising living costs combined with stagnating wages is leaving many people struggling to afford food.
Recent figures from the UK’s largest foodbank network, the Trussell Trust, show that demand for free emergency food parcels in the UK is rising each year. The problem is best illustrated by these worrying statistics from Oxfam:
- It is estimated that over 500,000 people in the UK are now relying on food parcels.
- Over 2 million people in the UK are estimated to be malnourished, and 3 million are at risk of becoming so.
- 36% of the UK population are just one unexpected bill away from financial hardship
- Four million UK children live in households that are too poor to afford a healthy diet*
- 1 in 6 parents have gone without food themselves to afford to feed their families.*
- One in four low-income families struggle to eat regularly.*
How you can help tackle food poverty in the UK
Tackling food poverty is one of today’s most urgent challenges if we are to cut the rising trend of hunger, obesity and diet related ill-health. You can help to make a difference by…
- Donating food to a foodbank: Foodbanks are always looking for food donations from a standard shopping list. If you wish to donate food, it is worth calling in advance to find out what items are needed most.
- Offering a financial gift: Foodbanks accept monetary gifts as well as food donations, and often giving money directly means there is more flexibility to buy what is needed the most.
- Volunteering your time: Many charities rely on volunteers to help run foodbanks and raise awareness of food poverty. From administration, deliveries, supermarket collections or marketing/PR – there are many roles up for grabs and any contribution you can make will help make a real difference to the life of someone in crisis.
- Fundraising for The Trussell Trust: Raising money for the Trussell Trust will ensure the charity can continue to run foodbanks and develop additional services to help break the cycle of poverty. Not only this, but fundraising can help you gain new skills and meet new people in your community.
- Lobbying your local MP and supermarkets: By encouraging your local MP to visit your local foodbank and engage with its users first-hand, you can do your bit to make sure food poverty is at the top of their political agenda. You can also support the many social enterprises around the country, who are connecting food waste created in supermarkets and manufacturing chains with charities supporting people in need.