Hello all! My name is Joe, and I am one of the Intern’s on the Go Local Campaign this month. The Go Local Campaign, as I am sure you all know, is aimed at targeting local charities, because COVID has highlighted to us all that going local is more important than ever.
‘A YouGov poll in May commissioned by the charity Food Foundation found that 2.4 million children (17%) were living in food insecure households. By October, an extra 900,000 children had been registered for free school meals. Fast forward to now, one-fifth of our population, or 14.5 million people, live in poverty.’
The pandemic has impacted us all in some way, but an issue that is very close to my heart is that of the Foodbank crisis we’re currently experiencing nationwide. I thought I would use this opportunity to share some information on the importance of Foodbanks. Having contacted a number of charities as part of our campaign, none have been more in need of support than Foodbanks. I hope to express the vital importance of them, and what can be done to help (especially by going local).
A YouGov poll in May commissioned by the charity Food Foundation found that 2.4 million children (17%) were living in food insecure households. By October, an extra 900,000 children had been registered for free school meals. Fast forward to now, one-fifth of our population, or 14.5 million people, live in poverty. By mid-2021, as a consequence of the pandemic, it’s expected that up to 2.6 million will be unemployed, which will likely worsen our rate of food poverty.
The statistics are bleak, and it is becoming apparent that Britain is increasingly reliant on charity food banks as a “core welfare response” to our growing poverty destitution. This means that foodbanks are at a critical point in the demand for their services. With a record number of users, coupled with the impacts of the pandemic, there has never been a better time to offer a helping hand to the foodbanks that will be doing incredible work night and day in your local area.
Whilst the situation may appear devastating, there are people up and down the country doing fantastic work to tackle the problem. The Trussell Trust, who’ve reported a 47% increase in the number of food parcels distributed across the UK in the six months to September 2020, are a charity that supports a national network of food banks. The Group provides emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaigns for change, to end the need for food banks in the UK.
In the true spirit of our Go Local Campaign, the Trussell Trust Group have a fantastic feature which allows one to locate their nearest foodbanks, including the necessary details to get involved. I would encourage anyone with some spare time to check out their website, I guarantee you will be surprised by the number of local foodbanks in your area!
The Trussell Trust Group focuses on supporting food banks to develop a strategic plan to reduce the need for their services locally, help people in crisis to access financial aid they are entitled to and increase the skills of volunteers. As part of the Go Local Campaign, I have been fortunate enough to connect with local foodbanks and hear about the amazing work they are doing and have been doing throughout the pandemic.
As well as the projects that I hope will come to fruition for all our wonderful Studenteers, I would thoroughly recommend exploring the opportunities local to you. It has been a real pleasure to learn about the wonderful work that occurs down the road from me, and I encourage anyone to seek out similar opportunities.
Please, if you can, spare a thought for the estimated 2 million families, including a million children, struggling to afford to feed themselves, stay warm, or keep clean as the recession deepens. If you can spare some time, we can work together, locally and nationally, to fight the Foodbank crisis and help out our local communities. This, for me, is what the ‘Go Local’ Campaign is all about, and I hope it will inspire you all to get involved locally with an issue that is so important to our society and our local communities.
By Joseph Watchorn for Studenteer
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