Katie Cavanna: Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?
- Credit: Archant
Over 12 weeks ago, as the severity of Covid-19 became apparent, RE4orm set up its current project, Food 4 Torbay.
Since then, our wonderful community has united to ensure no child goes hungry in Torbay.
Last week, Team RE4orm – made up of 50 volunteers and local businesses - marked the 10,000th meal and 10,000th food parcel sent out to families in need across Torbay.
Working together, as a community, hundreds of families have been supported through this time of crisis. Collaborating with local restaurants, nutritious and wholesome meals have been enjoyed by many across our community.
We knew, before Covid-19, the numbers in poverty within Torbay.
With the effects of the pandemic becoming clearer every day, and many more needing assistance, food poverty is an issue that cannot be ignored.
Here's a shocking, and frankly scary, statistic from the Trussell Trust, which is the UK's biggest provider of emergency food assistance in the UK.
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In April, it recorded an 87 per cent increase in the number of parcels issued.
The number delivered to children more than doubled - 107 per cent increase.
Think about that for a moment.
Think about the number of people who would otherwise go hungry.
Consider, too, that the trust's mission is to provide emergency food aid. Short-term assistance to people in dire need.
Food banks aren't set up to keep people without enough to eat going for weeks on end. And it shouldn't have to.
Yet food banks are among Britain's fastest-growing industries.
That's only going to continue because the Covid-19 economic dam hasn't fully burst yet.
Food poverty, or household food insecurity, can be triggered by a crisis in finance or personal circumstances, but may also be a long-term experience of not being able to access or have the facilities to prepare a healthy diet.
The experiences of these people are just the tip of the iceberg.
Food poverty, or household food insecurity, has a myriad of faces.
It can affect children who lack free school meals during the holidays; parents on low incomes going without food so that their children can eat; working people whose low wages leave them struggling to buy nutritious food; people with no recourse to public funds, or older people unable to prepare meals without support.
The issue of food poverty has also been forced into the spotlight by the incredible campaign of football star, Marcus Rashford.
Rashford, has written about the food poverty he experienced as a child. Growing up, food poverty was a stark reality for Rashford.
Alarmed that children across the country would go hungry during the summer holidays, Rashford led a phenomenal united campaign calling for the Government to change its policy.
Rashford said of the reversal on Twitter: 'I don't even know what to say. Just look at what we can do when we come together, This is England in 2020.'
Later, he posted a second statement saying the campaign was a way of issuing a cry for help from vulnerable parents all over the country.
'I stand proud today knowing that we have listened, and we have done what is right. There is still a long way to go but I am thankful to you all that we have given these families just one less thing to worry about tonight.
'The wellbeing of our children should always be a priority,' he wrote.
RE4orm welcomes the u-turn and has put plans in place to continue to support families alongside local restaurants, throughout the summer holidays.
RE4orm will continue to provide families with nutritious meals and food parcels.
With the onset of hospitality businesses opening in July, this fantastic group of restaurants remain committed to feeding families across Torbay.
Despite the uncertainty of what lies ahead for this industry, their naturally inspiring tenacity highlights beautifully, just how remarkable our community in Torbay really is.