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The Big Food Appeal: Can your business help feed families in need this summer holiday?

Hauliers like Williamson Foodservice are already helping supply communities in need with food - but what could your business do as part of The Big Food Appeal? Pictured: Gary Williamson, managing director, with dispatch coordinator Andy Mitchell.
Hauliers like Williamson Foodservice are already helping supply communities in need with food - but what could your business do as part of The Big Food Appeal? Pictured: Gary Williamson, managing director, with dispatch coordinator Andy Mitchell. Pic: Sandy McCook/DCT

As school wraps up for the summer, children are looking forward to six weeks of freedom from the classroom.

But many parents and carers across the north and north-east will already be worried about how to feed those hungry mouths as the cost-of-living continues to bite.

Earlier this month, a study for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed more than 40% of UK households have cut back on their food spend while more than half have slashed their use of energy as they try to make ends meet.

The Press and Journal is working hard to reduce some of that anxiety, by highlighting the help that is available through our Big Food Appeal.

Initially launched as our Christmas campaign for 2021, we teamed up with foodbank charity Cfine and asked readers to donate through JustGiving or to buy items from an Amazon wishlist set up especially.

Your generosity gave Cfine a boost of more than £8,500 and 3,572kg of food – the equivalent of 8,505 meals.

Chef Garry Royan is dedicated to making fresh, healthy meals at Inchgarth Community Centre - even making hundreds of meals before he went for an operation.
Chef Garry Royan is dedicated to making fresh, healthy meals at Inchgarth Community Centre – even making hundreds of meals before he went for an operation. Picture Paul Glendell/DCT

Much more than just food

But we knew that 2022 was going to be a tough year for many, and have continued working to signpost people to the help that is in our communities and celebrate the champions who run charities and foodbanks or bulk cook meals and run day clubs to ensure people are not going hungry.

One of the main focuses of the Big Food Appeal is to end the stigma around food poverty and dispel some of the myths around who can get help from foodbanks.

For example, Moray Food Plus offers much more than just food parcels – it also runs cooking classes and family support sessions.

We’ve also shared stories that we hope shock people into action, like the fact that for many youngsters, their school lunch is the only hot meal of the day or that teachers often buy their own stash of snacks for pupils – and not just in deprived parts of the region.

The P&J partnered with Cfine for Taste of Grampian this month, and ran a food drive for the charity - which supplies food across Grampian and the Highlands.
The P&J partnered with Cfine for Taste of Grampian this month, and ran a food drive for the charity – which supplies food across Grampian and the Highlands. Picture: Kenny Elrick/DCT

How could you help?

Hauliers such as ARR Craib, Williamson FoodService, JBT, Skye Express, MacLean Transport, DR MacLeod all help deliver food to communities on their regular routes on a charitable basis.

Could your own business help to ease the pressure this summer?

If your company is back in the office, could a collection point be set up for people to drop off items to be taken to a foodbank near you?

At Taste of Grampian, the P&J held a food drive – asking everyone who attended the one-day event at Thainstone to bring a tin or jar of food for Cfine. Is this an idea you could adopt for any events you have coming up?

If you’re signed up to Social Good Connect, there could be volunteering opportunities at foodbanks near you that staff might wish to get behind.

We want to hear your stories and celebrate your successes, which in turn may inspire others to also step up and help. Get in touch via livenews@ajl.co.uk

For more information, or to get involved with The Big Food Appeal, click here.

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