Elina Kanela at FareShare UK on how you can make a difference this xmas.
Christmas is a time to share, make memories and enjoy food with loved ones. But unfortunately for some, it can be a time of worry and insecurity. Last Christmas 1.3m UK families relied on food parcels over the festive period and this year will be no different with almost one in six people considering using food banks this Christmas. This time of year can be a busy period for many, but there are a few easy ways people can make a difference to help those who need it most, according to Elina Kanela at FareShare UK.
If you are able to spare some time around the festive period or beyond it can make a world of difference. There are opportunities to help sort and deliver food for those in need, especially in the run- up to Christmas. You can see the volunteering opportunities available with FareShare, and if you are in London with The Felix project. You can also always volunteer at your local food bank or soup kitchen and get involved with a variety of other charities near you too.
There are various ways you can donate. You can opt to give monetary donations through charities like FareShare to help get food to families and more local charities like The Felix project who are running an urgent Christmas appeal to help deliver three million meals to Londoners in need. Each £50 raised delivers food for 305 meals.
In addition, if you work for a business that often has surplus food you could suggest they fill in a form to see whether it can go to good use to help others. Also, if you want to donate food on an individual level you can give food to your local food bank or use community-based food sharing apps like Olio instead. Every bit counts!
If you’d rather swap out the usual throwaway secret Santa gifts, perhaps suggest a donation this year? Asking for donations instead of gifts is a great way to fundraise allowing family and friends to mark a special occasion whilst helping fight food poverty at the same time.
If you want to be more active in raising money there are plenty of ways to get creative and have some fun with it. Whether it’s running a marathon in a festive jumper, having a Xmas cookie sale or carol karaoke night or taking part in a sponsored challenge (maybe a mince pie eating challenge), each penny you raise will help save more food from going to waste and get it onto the plates of vulnerable people.
You can help from the comfort of your own home simply by buying Xmas must-haves that give back. Make your purchases mean more. A great example is the Crackers Cracking Hunger campaign tackling food poverty across the UK. You can now buy Christmas crackers from the Deliveroo app where 100% of profits go to help provide crucial meals for families in need. Each box of six crackers costs £10, all of which will be donated to The Felix Project and FareShare, providing the equivalent of a week of meals for a UK household in need by redistributing good food that would otherwise go to waste.
Alternatively, if preferred you can also make a monetary donation instead on the ‘Crackers Cracking Hunger – Make a
Donation’ page. There are plenty of other great charity initiatives and Christmas products on the market too that help various good causes from Christmas cards, decorations, festive jumpers and secret Santa gifts and more.
Whether it’s time, donations or making more conscious purchases – no matter how small it all adds up and has a positive impact helping those who need it most.
*Elina Kanela is a working mum and senior marketing and communications officer for FareShare UK. FareShare is the UK’s biggest charity network fighting hunger and food waste – diverting surplus food, which would otherwise go to waste, to people at risk of hunger via a network of 10,500 frontline charities and community groups nationwide. Visit www.fareshare.org.uk to find out more. The Felix Project is London’s largest food redistribution charity, reaching 260,000 Londoners every week with nutritious fresh food. Join the movement: www.thefelixproject.org | Instagram @thefelixproject. Picture credit: FareShare UK.