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More than 1 in 10 Brits Struggle To Afford To Eat

An estimated 8.4 million[1] people in the UK reported having insufficient food in 2014. Here in the UK, the fifth largest economy in the world where UK families allegedly hold a combined wealth of more than £9.1 trillion (albeit not in equal measure, clearly).  So 13% of us, i.e. the whole of London, or Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds and Brighton combined, aren’t getting enough food.

The irony of this statistic is of course that this sits side by side with an obesity pandemic that is affecting the UK.  In case you were wondering 2/3 of men and women in the UK are classed as overweight or obese.

But back to food insecurity for now (one problem at a time, guys).  Over the winter it’s horrifying to read stories in the news about people having to choose between eating and heating, children not receiving nutritious meals in school holidays and the prospect of BREXIT has already impacted the price of some foods meaning it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. In short, an unnecessary percentage of us aren’t getting enough food, and the signs show that we aren’t being educated or supported to eat well on a budget, reduce waste or crucially equip our children to do the same.

The UK has a number of wonderful initiatives all fighting the good fight on this topic and the latest one you need to know about is UKHarvest. Recently launched in the UK, but with a global family, UKHarvest’s mama OzHarvest (led by the inimitable Ronni Kahn) has 12 years of success to draw from.  It is a bit different, and a bit wonderful.  At UKHarvest it’s not just about solving the problem of today, but of working with the whole of society to create a virtuous circle of positively.  Though our four pillars:

Rescue

We are on a mission to eliminate hunger and food waste through the redistribution of quality surplus food. We collect perishable food from places like supermarkets, hotels, wholesalers, farmers, stadiums, catering companies, shopping centres, delis, cafes, restaurants, film and TV shoots and boardrooms in our refrigerated yellow vans and take it, directly and free of charge, to charities who are helping vulnerable men, women and children in the UK.

Educate

The old adage of give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day, show him how to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime might sound trite, but its TRUE!

Educating and raising awareness about food waste, food rescue, food security and sustainability is central to our vision. Protecting and improving the environment through our actions deeply matters to us. Promoting nutrition education is paramount. Providing hospitality training and mentoring for disadvantaged youth drives us onwards and upwards, together.

Engage

Embracing community support for UKHarvest lies at the heart of our purpose. We offer a range of opportunities for the community to engage with our family. In turn, the goodness spreads through our family, adding purpose to peoples’ lives through meaningful action.

Innovate

Whether it’s finding new ways and solutions to combat food waste and hunger, to using technology to mobilise Brits to take meaningful action. The food rescue model we use has been implemented and adapted across the globe and we intend to pay it forward.

There are so many ways you can get involved and be a part of the movement to feed, educate and engage those who really need it.  Give us a shout to let us know about your surplus food that you can offer for collection, or to let us know your charity wants food, or to donate money or time to volunteer, just tell us your story, connect with us on social media and spread the good word to your mates.

Drop us a line now at info@ukharvest.org, we can’t wait to chat.

We’ve got some pretty cool friends too.  We’re delighted to be partnering with the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation to host the inaugural CEO Cookoff in March, where CEOs and professional chefs will cook up a banquet for hundreds of unsung heroes who work in UK schools and hospitals.  Check that out here: http://www.ceocookoff.co.uk/about  and share your thoughts on twitter with hashtag #ceocookoff

[1] http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/news/84-million-struggling-afford-eat-united-kingdom

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