By Amy Hunt
There's no doubting that this year has been difficult for everyone in different ways - either financially, emotionally, physically - or all of the above.
But for some, it's been tougher than for others. With the spread of the coronavirus, and the country forced into multiple lockdowns, businesses have been shut for months at a time in the UK this year. And the devastating knock-on effect has been the loss of thousands and thousands of jobs, with redundancies and unemployment at an all-time high.
Of course, a lack of employment means a lack of money - which has forced more of us than ever to turn to food banks in 2020, for the basic necessity of feeding ourselves and our families. But there are things we can do, from finding the best charities to engage with and donate to, to donating to local food banks.
Which is why we at w&h have partnered with The Trussell Trust - a UK charity running food banks aiming to end UK hunger - to try and help ensure a #ChristmasForEveryone - where no one has to go hungry this festive season.
At w&h, we're collaborating with The Trussell Trust over the festive season to raise awareness of the desperate hunger crisis in the UK right now, and the vital importance of helping those in need - and eventually, ending the need for food banks.
Because without a full belly, it can feel impossible to enjoy life, or even complete daily basic tasks. And nothing is more important than fulfilling the basic, human need for daily nourishment.
So how can you help to end hunger in this country?
How the coronavirus pandemic has made food poverty worse in 2020
Job loss and those struggling to receive what they need on the UK's benefits system means that huge numbers of us have needed to turn to food banks in 2020.
Food banks in the Trussell Trust’s UK network saw a shocking 47% increase in need during the crisis, with 2,600 food parcels provided every day for children during the first six months of the pandemic.
Overall, more than 1.2 million emergency food parcels were given to people struggling to afford essentials by food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network between 1st April and 30th September 2020 - their busiest period ever.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, explained, “This pandemic has shown the unexpected can hit us suddenly, with devastating consequences for people’s lives.
"But it’s also shown we can make huge changes to the way we live and look after each other. It’s shown that when we come together to push for change, the government responds. Together, we can build a hunger free future."
What we can all do to create a hunger-free future
Ultimately, the goal of The Trussell Trust is to end the need for food banks, and create a future where everyone can afford the essentials - no matter what their circumstances in life.
As such, the charity is calling on all of us to join their Hunger Free Future campaign today, to be part of the growing movement to ensure everyone has access to one of our most basic necessities in life - food.
And you can do this by helping in four different, but easily achievable, ways.
1. Make a donation
Donating money, if you are able, is one of the easiest ways to support the campaign to end UK hunger.
Click here to give a one-off or monthly donation to The Trussell Trust, to enable them to continue in their work.
You can donate a minimum of £2, or a maximum of whatever you'd like. Simply give whatever you can spare.
Or, if you would rather donate something tangible, you can also donate food to your local food banks. You can do this at your local supermarket collection point - almost all will have a box near the checkouts, so be sure to pick up some extras to donate after your weekly (or Christmas) shop.
If you do plan on doing this though, The Trussell Trust encourage you to first ask, or check out, what your local food bank actually needs, as often, they can get overwhelmed with high volumes of the same item.
2. Add your name to show support for The Trussell Trust
Following the link here, you can add your name to the campaign to end hunger destitution in the UK.
All you need to do is share your name and email address, and - if you can - agree to be contacted by the charity who may ask that you share the campaign with loved ones and sign petitions.
It's an incredibly easy way to join The Trussell Trust in their aim to eradicate UK hunger - and it'll take you just a few seconds.
3. Volunteer your time
If you're looking for a practical way to pitch in and help The Trussell Trust, you could even volunteer your time - whether you can give five minutes or five hours a week.
You can view the latest volunteering opportunities in your area here , many of which involve helping out at food banks, driving to pick up deliveries, or, if you'd rather not venture outside too much this winter, volunteering at home to raise the profile of the charity and the important work it does.
For any in-person roles, The Trussell Trust will provide and relevant and necessary training.
4. Fundraise for The Trussell Trust
While personal donations are a huge part of supporting the charity and therefore working to end UK hunger, getting more people involved means more financial support for the cause.
If you'd like to fundraise, visit the link here, for some ideas on how best to help.
For example, one of the latest fundraising initiatives is the 'Not Your Christmas Party – the virtual get together' event, which encourages you to get together (online) with friends and family, and donate all the money you'd usually spend on your annual festive party to the cause. A worthwhile, and fun way, to get involved! Why not suggest it at your workplace?
By donating, sharing the message, volunteering or fundraising, you can help to ensure a #ChristmasForEveryone this year.
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