Five Fantastic Food Initiatives To Support Now
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Five Fantastic Food Initiatives To Support Now

These UK charities are doing incredible things

With rampant food shortages across the world and on our own doorstep Jenny Jefferies reflects on the importance of both charity and education, giving a rundown of charitable initiatives in the UK that you can support right now.

Food Is The Seed Of Life: UK Food Initiatives You Can Donate To Now

Food really is at the heart of the world’s problems. There is currently extortionate famine in Sudan, food aid cannot get through to Gaza, the bread basket of Ukraine is increasingly under threat, we are still reeling from post Brexit issues from nearly 8 years ago, obesity in children is fast becoming a national crisis, the UK food supply chain has become totally fragmented, the weather is becoming more extreme, there are consistent hospitality and agricultural labour shortages, and farmers in the UK are getting death threats.

However, there is always hope. We have, in the UK, a general election coming up this year, Tom Bradshaw, the new President of the National Farmers’ Union is hitting the ground running with a letter published in The Times today, Guy Sing-Watson, a British farmer and founder of Riverford, had over 100,000 signatories on his ‘Get Fair About Farming’ campaign to give farmers a fair price from supermarkets, and the Unite Nations World Food Programme, continually does good work for people in need, all around the world.

It is all about education and we shouldn’t shy away from this language. It must come from Government and both agriculture and fishing should be put on the National Curriculum for the early years, specifically KS1 and KS2. This should include farm visits, free school meals for all primary children, education about nutritional value, cooking skills, budgeting, food provenance, general knowledge of farming and fishing, and the absolute importance of buying local, from independent businesses, rather than supermarkets.

Food items getting sorted at a food bank

Pexels

The Government scrapped a £5m plan to fund a ‘school cooking revolution’ but the Department of Education abandoned this idea last summer. They said that it would not be taking this forward because it was ‘In favour of using an existing, established route for developing curriculum content, while not diverting resource from wider curriculum commitments outlined in the Schools White Paper.’ In other words, they are not prepared to spend further money on our children.

There are currently 8.2 million people in this country living in poverty, which is the equivalent to the entire population of London. They can’t afford food and this is entirely a political decision. As Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.’

Education and food are the issues that are the most pressing matters in the world and it must come from the top down to have any impact and longevity. Food is a fundamental human right, and the UK thrives off charity. Collaboration and communication is key and our political leaders should be ashamed of themselves.

Charity begins at home, so here are five UK charities doing wonderful things.

Five UK Charities You Can Support Right Now

Charity Right

If children don’t eat, they don’t learn. India, Sweden, Brazil, Finland, Estonia and Rwanda all offer free school meals to primary school children. So why can’t England? As a charity that provides schools with free meals, Charity Right’s aim is to help children from forgotten and neglected communities to both stay healthy and get a good education. charityright.org.uk

The Country Trust

School children from all social dynamics should learn about food provenance. The Country Trust is the UK’s leading national educational charity connecting children from areas of high social and economic disadvantage, including the implementation of farm-centred, hands-on, curriculum-linked visits. countrytrust.org.uk

Food Behind Bars

There are currently 88,000 prisoners in the UK the highest on record with 65% of prisons holding more individuals than they were designed for. Prisoners need good food so they can be rehabilitated and contribute to society. Food Behind Bars is the UK’s only charity dedicated to transforming prison food. foodbehindbars.co.uk

Cambridge Children’s Hospital

Hospital patients’ long-term health is benefitted from nutritious food. There is currently a brand-new children’s hospital being built in Cambridge which will be ground-breaking in its delivery. Cambridge Children’s Hospital will be a world first hospital that cares for children’s physical and mental health together, in a way no-one ever has before. cambridgechildrens.org.uk

Migrateful

Refugees need food to live again. Migrate is an award-winning UK charity with a mission to support migrants and refugees on their journey to integration and independence by enabling them to teach cookery classes to the public. migrateful.org