In 2018-19, over 1.5 million people in the UK accessed a foodbank.

In 2017-18, 1.6 million foodbank parcels were given out to people in crisis across the UK. This included unemployed, disabled, low paid workers, elderly and children, an 18.8% increase from the year before. This figure doesn’t take account of the thousands of people who don’t access food banks and borrow money to feed themselves, or those who go silently hungry until they can next afford food. We know that 80% of people in food poverty never access a food bank. Additionally, there are thousands of families across the country living on the verge of food crisis, whose income doesn’t allow for fresh food in their diets.

Of the 1.6 million people who did access food aid from foodbanks in the past year, most were given a parcel of non-perishable, ultra processed food. Shockingly, our research indicated that up to 40% of the foodbank package is not used by the recipient as the parcels aren’t designed to feed people well. In the UK £29 billion is spent every year treating conditions associated with poverty, including obesity and malnutrition. With numbers of people falling into crisis set to increase with austerity measures, we’re campaigning for a better response. We’ve designed a fresh food aid model, ensuring social justice for people in food poverty. At a time when we campaign for healthier food provision for children in schools and sugar taxes and raise awareness of the obesity crisis and the nutritional impact of processed food, it is only right that we work to improve the food given to people who are unable to feed themselves; those in desperate need of good nutrition.

What we’re doing to combat food poverty

To date we have held 5 food poverty conferences, bringing together hundreds of local and national organisations to find solutions to food poverty in Merseyside, North Wales and across the UK. These conferences and subsequent working groups enabled us to pull together a position statement on the state of food poverty in Liverpool. Additionally, we have published a report based on our findings of hunger and food aid.

To date we have distributed over 80,000 free, fresh meals to families and individuals in food poverty, working with various play schemes and community centres across Liverpool & North Wales – making our provision the biggest fresh food-aid offer of its kind in the UK.

Share Your Lunch

Share Your Lunch has provided over 80,000 fresh meals to hungry families in Merseyside

Can Cook is a registered charity; we trade commercially and invest our profits into creating Real Living Wage jobs for local people, and providing fresh, chilled meals, free of charge to families in food poverty. We chose to structure ourselves in this way in response to the growing number of people going hungry in the UK, and the lack of fresh food available to them.

In 2016, we partnered with our local newspaper, the Liverpool Echo, to further our impact by raising awareness and funds to feed hungry households in Merseyside. The response was incredible, raising over £50,000 to provide essential fresh food to families in difficulty.

2017 saw the launch of phase 2 of the campaign, focusing on providing good food for children through the school holidays, and extending our reach to more families in the region. Throughout the year we provided an additional 10,000 meals for children facing Holiday Hunger.

In 2018 we partnered with Flintshire County Council to bring the Share Your Lunch campaign to community centres and play schemes across North Wales, providing thousands of meals for children facing Holiday Hunger. We used our experience in food poverty to co-produce a ‘Hunger in Flintshire’ report – documenting the changes we will continue to make in the area through fresh food and sustainability.

Right now, with the help of both Liverpool City Council & Flintshire County Council, we’re gearing up to deliver thousands more fresh meals to children across North Wales & South Liverpool, who are at risk of Holiday Hunger during the six-week school break.

The Can Cook Model

Stopping Hunger, Sustainably 

We’ve used our experiences in food poverty and feeding people well to create a model that we know can stop food poverty in every area it operates within.

Through dignity and sustainability, this model is unique in the fact that it utilises services and resources already available in every community to stop hunger and create an area based around good food and fresh produce.

Contact for more details on the Can Cook food poverty model.

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