The Scary Stuff
World hunger has been on the decline for a decade, with so many countries getting involved to help the cause. Over the last few years, however, the number of people that cannot afford to eat has begun to rise. There are now over 821 million people worldwide facing food deprivation.
"Globally, one in nine people are hungry or undernourished. 2.37 billion people did not have access to enough safe and nutritious food in 2020." - Actions Against Hunger
But when you think of world hunger, do you think of those around you? Your friends? Your neighbours? The person you passed on the street yesterday? In the UK there are 8.4 million people that do not have enough money to provide food for themselves or their families.
The recent Covid-19 pandemic has made matters worse for many people in the UK who have lost their jobs alongside those who cannot afford the increasing prices of basic resources. Those who are struggling often rely on food banks and charities in order to get food for the week.
But here's the good news: You can help to make a difference
Here are just a few ways that you can help those in need:
1. Donating food to or volunteering at local food banks
Food banks are a great way to get involved, whether donating food or volunteering your time, any help you can give will be welcomed. There are many food banks all over the UK. The Trussell Trust operates over half of the food banks in the country.
It's simple to donate to a food bank: either go directly to your local food bank or use collection points at your local supermarkets. From these points, you can just drop off anything you would like to donate. 90% of all food distributed by foodbanks is donated by the public, so your contribution will be greatly appreciated.
Volunteering is also something food banks encourage and love for people to get involved with. To get involved with this you can go onto any food bank website such as the Trussell Trust website, click 'Volunteer Today' and pick where you want to volunteer.
"Whether you want to commit a few days a week or a few hours a month, your support can make a real difference." - The Trussell Trust.
2. Give to charities that help those in need
If you have any spare change, why not donate it to charities that are going to provide for those who need that little bit of extra help. Some charities that have been helping those hungry in the UK are organisations like Feeding Britain, Trussell Trust, and Fare Share. All three of these charities have made efforts to help those who truly need it. Their food banks are scattered across the country so your money would go to helping people from all over the country. To give to a charity simply head to its website and click donate.
3. Go directly to the people that need it (safely)
If you know of someone that is struggling to source food or you have passed someone in the street that you know could not get to the supermarket, why not go straight to them? Buying the basics doesn't have to cost much - a sandwich, some fruit, and a bottle of water could make all the difference.
You could even create food boxes of your own to hand out to those around you. This could include healthy things like bread, apples, nuts - anything you think will help. Doing things like this is even more personal than a food bank, and it could really make those who you help happier.
"Helping others and being kind not only contributes to the happiness of others, it can also help us to feel happier ourselves!" - Action For Happiness.
If you do choose to help people in this way, make sure people know where you are and bring a friend along with you to make sure you are both safe.
4. Community gardens or allotments
Having volunteers at an accessible community garden can be a great way of not only helping those in need but to meeting them and getting to know them too.
An allotment or garden that is available for people to grab some fresh fruit or veg from can allow anyone who needs food to get it themselves if they wish to do so. It also means that you can meet the people who are in need alongside others who are wanting to help them. It can be a brilliant way to strengthen the community and to make sure that anyone who is in need knows where to go for help.
Good things to have in these gardens would be things that are easy to pick and eat such as strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
5. Spread the word - get others to help too
If you have done even one of these things then you have helped somebody and that is an amazing feeling. Why not share that with others? Get your friends, family, colleagues, or classmates to help out and help others. Talking about a cause is one of the best ways to get other people involved. You could post it on social media, chat about it when you see people, or simply just ask someone to come along.
The more people helping, the better things will get for those who need us.