Recent research from Church Urban Fund has revealed the extent of food poverty in Britain. Although these figures offer a deeply troubling picture of food insecurity in Britain, there are stories of hope coming from Church Urban Fund's Together programme.

The Together programme is made up of partnerships between CUF and local Church of England diocese. From within these partnerships there is real progress being made to tackle food insecurity. This ranges from tackling the structural causes of food poverty and addressing the immediate needs of people who are hungry. 

Middlesbrough

As well as contributing to a recent parliamentary report into food poverty, Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland provided thousands of healthy meals for children in their area. As free school meals stopped in the summer holidays, churches and community groups stepped up to provide a Feast of Fun. Watch the video below to find out more.

 

Lancashire

Together Lancashire have been working to tackle food poverty in their area for a number of years. They have worked with local churches and community groups to set up a network of food banks, slow cooker classes, and community fridges across the county. 

Katie (not her real name) became involved in this work when she was forced to flee her home with her daughters to escape domestic violence. She was signed off work due to stress but she didn't earn enough to claim statutory sick pay. Money became more and more tight and she found herself skipping meals so that her girls could eat. 

A friend of Katie’s volunteered at another church nearby. ‘She was running a cookery course at the church, which was put on through the food bank, just making basic meals from scratch. She asked me to go along to help her, and help me get out, more than anything. It helped me to meet up with a few people.

'We were given a slow cooker as well, which I use all the time now. That was great for us, really helped with cooking on a budget. And especially with the depression, there were some days when I couldn’t motivate myself, I didn’t want to do anything. I only had to throw a load of stuff in there in the morning and the kids would be fed at night.’ Having got to know people at the food bank and slow cooker course, Katie started volunteering herself.

‘So now I help volunteer there. Sometimes now, I’ll still get some help from them if I’ve had a difficult week or, if I’ve had a lot of bills, or something’s happened with my benefit. But now I volunteer there as well because I just think it’s such an important thing, and knowing that you can just wake up one morning and everything can change. So I’m quite passionate about it really that people should understand.’

Please give towards the work of the Together programme so that we can continue to tackle food poverty.