Thousands of families throughout the UK face impossible choices this winter; pay for heating, or pay for food? Should they forgo presents for children in favour of having food on the table? Or do parents skip meals to ensure their children can eat? Sadly this is the reality that many face, not in some far flung developing country, but right here in the UK.
The heartbreaking reality is that families around the UK are going hungry due to cuts in benefits, increasing food costs, loss of employment, and the knock on effect of the pandemic. Between April and September 2021 the Trussell Trust provided over 936,000 food parcels, that's 5,100 parcels per day, around 2,000 of which were for children. This represents an 11% rise on the same period in 2019, but what is even more worrying is that the rate of increase is even higher for children than it is for adults.
Perhaps an even more shocking statistic is that there are now more food banks in the UK now than there are McDonald's restaurants!
So, what has all this got to do with Freethought? Well, for many years at Christmas we sent presents to some of our clients; silly toys, chocolate or even a luxury hamper. Meanwhile, families were going hungry and would have wanted nothing more than basic food like supermarket spaghetti or a simple chocolate bar.
With this in mind, for the past few years instead of spending money on token gestures, we now donate money to worthy causes instead. In our mind nothing is more worthy than helping feed families throughout the UK, especially at Christmas and during the winter when it is harder than ever!
As we come to the end of the Christmas period and as our second charity of the year we've donated for the third year running to Trussell Trust to support the amazing work they do as they strive towards a #HungerFreeFuture, we know in the grand scheme our donation isn't going to solve the problem, but every penny and every donated food item combined can help to make a difference.
Finally, we know everyone is feeling the pinch at the moment, but if you do have a few spare pounds or perhaps could purchase something extra on your weekly food shop to donate to your local foodbank, that would be amazing, together we can make a difference.