We've partnered with some great charities and causes to help support vulnerable communities this Christmas, delivering food parcels to soup kitchens, families, and volunteers.
This year has been tough for everyone, but the COVID-19 crisis has hit some more severely than others. According to a thinktank calling for an anti-poverty strategy, almost 700,000 people in the UK, including 120,000 children, have been driven into poverty by the COVID-19 crisis. Food banks saw a huge increase in usage at the start of the pandemic, and the Trussell Trust predicted that there would be a 61% increase in usage of their services from October 2020 to December 2020 compared to the same time last year.
So, this Christmas we've partnered with some amazing charities and causes to help support communities at a time that should be filled with joy and peace, but for many is one of the most difficult periods of the year.
In March 2020, at the beginning of the first UK lockdown, we launched our #FeedYourCommunity initiative in collaboration with our customers and vendor partners to help support key workers and vulnerable communities during such a challenging time. We continued the project after lockdown ended and it's still going strong to this day. We have now delivered over 70,000 meals and snacks, and our Christmas charity collaborations are part of this ongoing project.
Our first Christmas charity partnership is with Crisis, a national charity for people experiencing homelessness. It's not the first time we've worked with them during the festive season, either - you can read all about our 2018 collaboration here. This year we're supporting their week-long 24-hour helpline by delivering meals to the volunteers answering the phones.
During the festive period, Crisis will be offering a 24-hour helpline for people experiencing homelessness who are seeking their help. It's estimated that more than 200,000 families and individuals will be experiencing the worst forms of homelessness this Christmas. So, a group of volunteers will be working night and day to offer invaluable support and advice over the phone. We're helping to keep them fuelled while they work by delivering lunches and dinners - donated by some of our generous customers - from 20th to 24th December.
Richard Lee, Director of Fundraising at Crisis, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to City Pantry for their kind donation of meals for our Christmas volunteers, who will be working hard to support people facing homelessness over the Christmas period."
City Pantry will also be supporting Feed London operationally this December. Feed London is a project started by Miracles the Charity, a charity that supports children and their families living in poverty and helps them through crisis situations such as serious illness. The Feed London project aims to supply food aid to those families worst hit by poverty in London, focusing on five boroughs with the worst record of child poverty: Westminster, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Newham, and Hackney.
Sands Catering will be creating hampers that include the ingredients and recipes needed to make a Christmas lunch, pancakes, and cakes. This will help feed families over the festive period and encourage children to learn new skills together through preparing the meals inside each hamper. The boxes will even contain ideas on how to get the most out of the all-important leftovers on Boxing Day, as well as a supermarket gift voucher to help with shopping expenses over the festive period.
Finally, we've partnered with Muswell Hill Soup Kitchen and Sands Catering to help provide the kitchen with the raw ingredients needed to make filling meals for their guests this Christmas. We've been working alongside Muswell Hill Soup Kitchen since October, and are proud to be supporting them during an especially important time.
We couldn't do this without generous donations from our customers and the hard work of our vendor partners who prepare tasty meals for the cause. Thank you to everyone who has contributed and organised alongside us over the past nine months.
If your company would like to donate meals to our #FeedYourCommunity initiative in 2021, please contact your Account Manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll be able to redirect your contributions to members of our communities who need it most.
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