Marcus Rashford’s initiative to reduce food poverty in the UK has seen thousands of children receiving free school meals. However, the government’s decision to no longer offer these meals during school holidays, such as half-term and Christmas, poses a real challenge to families worst hit by poverty, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jack Lee, our Client Success Executive, set off this month to collect as much food as possible and help support a local food bank with their efforts to provide free school dinners.
It’s this sort of positive activism that will make a difference to struggling families during these hard times. Our policy is that we will match any contribution staff make to charities and empower our employees to fight for causes that matter. So, to support his campaign, we’re topping up his donation with £1,000.
We sat down with Jack to ask him a little more about this initiative, and why it’s so important to him:
Why did you decide to set up the food bank initiative this Halloween?
A friend of mine initially reached out to me after the action to continue free schools meals for children was voted against by Parliament. I jumped at the opportunity to help.
Where is the food going and how did you choose that particular food bank/charity?
All the donations will be going to the Whitehawk Food Bank. The thinking was being able to directly support and contribute to the community we are a part of here in Brighton and Hove.
What difference could the initiative make?
For every pound donated, up to four meals can be provided to those most vulnerable. In 2019/20 1.9 million people used a food bank in the United Kingdom, around 300,000 more than the previous year. Whitehawk’s Food Bank provides three days worth of nutritionally balanced emergency food and support.
How can we encourage more individuals to get involved in the cause?
Find a cause that resonates with you. More often than not it is quite easy to desensitise ourselves from particular organisations asking for help, but rest assured there are very real people with very real needs behind them that could benefit from a helping hand.
How can those who cannot afford to donate food items contribute to the cause?
Volunteering. At the moment because of the pandemic, charities are limited by the number of people they can have helping out. Give your local food bank a call and see where you can be the most useful.
Wondering how you can get involved in campaigns that make a difference? Take a leaf out of Jack’s book and encourage your company to support you and your activist endeavours. To see a change, you have to be the change. Over at our publisher, Student Hut, we’re also encouraging students to get involved with activism however they can - Covid-permitting - feel free to check out the suggestions and share with your students.
If you’ve got any questions about how Akeros support their community, get in touch.