LiveWest combines forces with leading charities and groups to call for ‘big conversation’ on UK hunger

19 April 2018

Along with some of the UK’s leading charities and community groups working with people affected by hunger, we have combined forces for the first time, to launch a campaign that aims to end hunger in the UK.

A recent report from the United Nations Food & Agricultural Organisation suggested that as many as 8.4 million people in the UK struggle to put enough food on the table, equivalent to the entire population of London. Working here in Exeter, we know many people go without adequate and nutritious food – for all sorts of reasons.

LiveWest is sponsoring an awareness briefing being held on Tuesday 24 April at St Stephens’s church in Exeter. The event will bring together those individuals and organisations, who are committing to the campaign, allowing them to share ideas, raise wider awareness, encourage more to take on the commitment toward ending hunger and continue to build local and national momentum on addressing the issue.

Lesley Browne Community Development Worker at LiveWest said: “We recognise that the long summer holidays can be times of additional stress for families on a limited income. We have more requests for food bank support them than at any other time. Supporting creative ways for organisations to provide solutions for holiday hunger and support struggling families is part of our Community Investment support to ensure families are able to meet their rent costs and remain securely housed.”

LiveWest is a member of Food Exeter. Food Exeter is a multi-organisation partnership which is about finding ways for more Exeter residents to eat a healthier diet – and enjoy it!

LiveWest has provided over £5,000 to run activities and food projects during the school summer holidays in Exeter. This is in collaboration with Exeter Foodbank, St Sidwell’s, Wonford Community learning centre, Beacon Centre and Organic Arts.

There will be two activities a week over four weeks of the school holidays with a farm trip and farm-based activity as well as two weeks of cookery school activities at the Education campus in Cranbrook.

Like us, the other charities behind the new End Hunger UK campaign (www.endhungeruk.org) work first-hand with thousands of local community groups and projects across the UK that support people affected by hunger, and while they believe the voluntary sector’s support can be “life-changing”, they say longer-term solutions are urgently needed to tackle the issue.

Martyn Goss, Director of Church & Society for Exeter Diocese said: “It is all too easy for food poverty to slip from local and national politicians’ agendas. In reality, no one body has responsibility for making sure the population is well fed on a sustainable basis, so it is essential to remind all our decision makers this.”

Speaking on behalf of the charities behind the campaign, Niall Cooper, Director at Church Action on Poverty, said: “You might imagine that in modern day Britain we all have enough food to eat, or that hunger is only experienced by the few. Yet we see working parents missing meals so that their kids can eat, and vulnerable individuals turning to charities on a daily basis to get a meal. This is simply unacceptable.”

“That’s why we’re calling for an urgent, national conversation about what needs to be done, by the Government and others, to ensure that children get the food they need to give them the best start in life and that nobody in the UK needs to go hungry.”

People affected by hunger, or with ideas about how the Government should tackle the issue, are being urged to add their voice to the campaign by joining End Hunger UK’s ‘Big Conversation’ online, on social media using the hashtag #EndHungerUK, or at local charity and community group events being held across the UK, until March 2017.

Event details
• Awareness briefing on 24 April at St Stephen's Church, Exeter.
• There will be two activities a week over four weeks of the school holidays with associated farm trip and farm-based activity as well as two weeks of cookery school activities at the Education Campus Cranbrook.