- 96% of FareShare Midlands Members are seeing the effects of the cost of living crisis.
- 70% of Members are seeing more families with children among those new to their services.
- 4.3 million children are living in poverty and food insecurity in the UK.
- 139,000 children are living in poverty in Birmingham.
- 37,000 children are living in poverty in Leicester.
- 27,000 children are living in poverty in Nottingham City.
Local charities and community groups are overwhelmed by skyrocketing demand, which will have a devastating impact on thousands of school children who will miss out on free food this summer. A new survey is providing fresh evidence of the disastrous impact of the cost of living crisis across the Midlands. FareShare Midlands reports that 90% of their Community Food Members (charities and community groups) are asking for more food to help respond to the soaring demand, as more local people turn to them due to the unprecedented economic hardship they are facing. 71% of Community Food Members feel that if they stopped receiving FareShare food they would have to reduce the amount of food they could supply, with 56% saying it would cause a financial strain on their organisation. Food insecurity – not knowing where the next meal is coming from is acute and being experienced by thousands more than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey also reveals that 72% of charities are seeing people accessing support for the first time, and 53% report seeing more people in employment needing support. The growing need for food means FareShare Midlands, the region’s largest food re-distribution charity taking surplus food from the food industry and transporting it to frontline charities, is experiencing greater demand than ever before.
The summer holidays are even harder for families struggling to make ends meet, and as they rely on these vital local services to provide food for their children, FareShare Midlands urgently needs support to meet their needs.
Burntwood Be a Friend, receives FareShare food and works to alleviate isolation and loneliness, promote wellbeing and provide access to support and volunteering opportunities. The organisation has seen a massive increase in people accessing the provision and, at the same time, the Store is struggling with volunteer and food shortages and there are also enormous financial challenges.
Steph O’Shea, Family Support Worker at Burntwood be A Friend, says “I just think everything is so uncertain at the moment. I’m very worried that if something isn’t done to help organisations and charities like us very soon that they’re going to go under. And then what happens to all these families? What happens to the volunteers? I’m really worried that in 6 months’ time we may have to close. If our electric bill is what it is now – and it’s due to rise soon – what do we do? Where do we find that money?”
“Without FareShare Midlands food we wouldn’t operate, we would quite literally fold. We wouldn’t have as many volunteers if they didn’t come here to access the food. Without the food, there is no Burntwood Be a Friend at all. There would be a lot more poverty. We wouldn’t be a strong community like we are.”
Simone Connolly, Chief Executive at FareShare Midlands said: "The cost of living crisis continues to wreak havoc across the Midlands, making life harder than ever for local people – not just vulnerable individuals, but those in employment and even families with two working parents. During the long summer holidays, parents and carers can find themselves under increased pressure to feed and care for school children, leaving these children and their wider family network vulnerable. There is evidence of these children returning to school undernourished and underweight. To prevent this, we urgently need donations to get nutritious food to school children over the summer. Too many pupils miss out due to the inadequate Holiday Food programme on offer by the Government, which is restricted to only children whose parents are in receipt of Universal Credit. This scheme is simply not good enough, leaving thousands of community organisations fighting to ensure that vulnerable children don’t go hungry."
By donating to FareShare Midlands, you can help deliver good-to-eat, surplus food to those who need it most.
£25 will provide 100 meals.
£8 per month helps deliver enough food for 32 regular meals every month.
The money raised will go towards delivering nutritious surplus food to a network of frontline charities and community groups across the Midlands.
Notes to editors
is the region’s largest food redistribution charity. We take good quality surplus food from the food industry and transport it to frontline charities all over the Midlands. Last year we redistributed over 5,670 tonnes of food reaching more than 67,000 vulnerable people every week. The food is shared by over 550 charities and community groups across the Midlands, including community centres, homeless shelters and children’s breakfast/school holiday clubs. These local organisations turn the food into food parcels, affordable shopping and delicious meals for vulnerable people.
To discuss this press release please contact:
Stella Broster, Communications Manager, FareShare Midlands