Sunday, 9 December 2012

Food Poverty At Christmas



“Food prices have risen in real terms by 12% over the last five years” (Defra)

“Falling income (after housing costs) and rising food prices produced a double effect, reducing food affordability by over 20% for lowest income households.” (Defra)

“Around 4 million people in the UK are estimated to suffer from food poverty.” (Food Ethics Council)

“6.1 million people in poverty are in working households. Excluding pensioners, in-work poverty now outstrips workless poverty at 5.1 million households.” (Joseph Rowntree Foundation)

“Between 18 and 20 million tonnes of food is wasted in Britain each year” (Defra)

There are some big numbers involved with food poverty, but let’s reduce it down to one: where would you go if you had no money left to feed your family?

The charity FareShare redistributes surplus in-date food from the food industry to organisations who directly assist people who need it. EMERGE works in partnership with FareShare here in the North West to distribute donated fresh, frozen and ambient produce to over 75 community organisations including those who work with the elderly, children, young adults, families, refugees and asylum-seekers at drop-ins, residential centres, Surestart centres, and breakfast and after-school clubs. The kinds of people supported are dealing with hardship in various forms, people who are homeless, unemployed, suffering hardship or abuse, and people dealing with substance or alcohol abuse often due to mental health issues, bereavement, illness or longer term vulnerabilities.

Importantly, the savings made from the donations of food enable beneficiary organisations to use their hard-pressed funds to support the needy to address the causes of poverty and hardship with a view to becoming more self-sufficient and resilient in the longer term.

There are multiple opportunities for volunteering both for people who are long term unemployed and for corporate volunteers to contribute to this important service, not to mention food companies who may have edible in date surplus food who want to avoid disposal costs.

Just before Christmas 2012, FareShare NW will be running a Christmas Food Service providing food thanks to the Buckingham Appeal and various suppliers.

We need volunteers to help from the 19th-21st December inclusive.

For more info please contact Liz (Volunteer Coordinator) or Seb (FareShare Manager) on 0161 223 8200 volunteering@emergemanchester.co.uk