Here at Kerrang! Radio, we've been getting angry. We want you to get angry too.
This October, we're taking the fight to food waste and food poverty in the UK. We would like you to join us and become a Food Fighter!
It's estimated that across the UK, we waste 7 million tonnes of food and drink every single year. Meanwhile, record numbers of people are suffering from food poverty and have had to turn to a foodbank just to survive. Whilst these foodbanks do brilliant work, they are largely volunteer-driven and have to provide a huge amount of support on very small budgets. The problem is so large in fact, that no one even knows exactly how many people it affects.
Food Fighters sees Kerrang! Radio teaming up with two incredible charities, The Trussell Trust and FareShare, to make as much noise as possible about food poverty and food waste in the UK. All this month, we're going to be raising as much awareness as we can, educating people and encouraging YOU to do the same.
Catch up on our Food Fighters interviews below:
You can pledge your support online using #FoodFighters and find out more about the two incredible charities we're working with below:
The Trussell Trust is an anti-poverty charity which partners with local communities to run a network of over 420 foodbanks across the UK.
“I can’t remember the last time we had a proper meal as a family. I’ll make something for the kids and pretend I’m eating later, because I don’t want them to know I go without so they don’t have to. It’s hard to afford even basic food. It’s making a decision between that and something else – do you put that £5 in the electric or gas because it’ll be freezing otherwise, or put it into food so the kids can eat?”
For Anna, juggling the care of her severely autistic son and battling with depression after escaping an abusive relationship is a daily struggle. And it’s made so much worse because she has so little to live on.
Anna’s not the only one who knows what it’s like to be living beyond the edge. When she was referred to her local foodbank, she received one of 1.1 million three day emergency food supplies provided to people in crisis last year by The Trussell Trust foodbank network. Trussell Trust foodbanks provide vital emergency food and support to people when something unavoidable - such as redundancy, illness or even an unexpected large bill – hits and there’s no money to put food on the table. Everyone who comes to a Trussell Trust foodbank is referred by a frontline professional, like a Citizens’ Advice worker or health visitor.
Stopping hunger is about more than food, which is why The Trussell Trust is working with its foodbanks to develop a range of additional services, like money advice, fuel vouchers for pre-payment meter and budget cookery courses, which create a lasting impact by addressing the underlying causes of poverty.
- 1,109,309 three day emergency food supplies were given to people by Trussell Trust foodbanks in 2015-16. 415,866 of those went to children.
- More than 40,000 people volunteered with a Trussell Trust foodbank in the last year
- The top three primary reasons for referral to a Trussell Trust foodbank are: benefit delay (28%), low income (24%) and benefit changes (14%)
- Over 39,000 frontline professionals, such as Citizens’ Advice workers or health visitors, work with Trussell Trust foodbanks to give foodbank vouchers to people in crisis.
On teaming up with Kerrang! Radio for Food Fighters, Adrian Curtis, Foodbank Network Director for The Trussell Trust, says:
“We’re really delighted to be part of Kerrang! Radio’s Food Fighters campaign this October. Every day people face hunger after being hit by something unexpected, like redundancy, illness or a delayed welfare payment. We don’t think anyone should have to go hungry, but we need your help to make this happen – that’s why it’s great to be working with Kerrang! to bust some of the myths about foodbanks, explain the reasons why people across the country are unable to afford food, and talk about how we can all help to stop hunger in the UK. Together we can really make a difference.”
You can find out more about The Trussell Trust and donate at trusselltrust.org/kerrang.
FareShare is a UK-wide charity that fights food waste and hunger. It redistributes good food that might otherwise go to waste, to frontline charities and community groups that support vulnerable people including homeless shelters, children’s breakfast clubs, and domestic violence refuges. These organisations transform the food into nutritious meals, which they provide alongside life-changing support – turning the environmental problem of food waste into a social solution.
The food redistributed by FareShare is good quality produce that's in-date and good to eat, but it has become surplus for various reasons such as forecasting errors or damaged packaging. With more than 8 million people in the UK struggling to put food on the table, FareShare believes the first priority for good surplus food should be feeding hungry and vulnerable people, so it works in partnership with food and drink businesses to help them redistribute their surplus to charities.
In 2015/16, FareShare redistributed 9,070 tonnes of food to 2,489 charities and community groups across the UK, enough for them to serve up 18.3 million meals for people in need, with an estimated value to the charity sector of £19.6 million. Yet hundreds of thousands of tonnes of good, surplus food from the food and drink industry could be redistributed each year to feed vulnerable people, enough to provide at least 650 million meals for people in need – so there is huge potential to do more. For more information, please visit www.fareshare.org.uk.
- Last year, FareShare diverted 9,070 tonnes of food from waste – enough to provide 18.3 million meals for people in need
- FareShare redistributed this food to 2,489 charities and community groups across the UK, helping to feed 211,565 people each week
- Without support from FareShare, one in five charities say they would have to close
- The surplus food that FareShare redistributes has an estimated value to the charity sector of £19.6 million a year
Speaking about teaming up with Kerrang! Radio for Food Fighters, FareShare say:
“FareShare is a lifeline for thousands of charities and community groups across the UK but because we work behind the scenes, we’re one of the charity sector’s best-kept secrets. The Food Fighters campaign is a great opportunity for us to share what we do with Kerrang!’s listeners and encourage them to support us in any way they can – whether that’s lending a hand at one of our 20 Regional Centres, donating a few pounds to help us redistribute more food, or spreading the word on social media – so that together we can tackle food waste and fight hunger.”
You can find out more about FareShare and donate at fareshare.org.uk/kerrang.