National charity FoodCycle, which aims to combat food poverty, are coming to the end of a week in which they challenged the public to live on the “breadline”.
According to a report published by the Northern Housing Consortium in December 2013, the breadline – “the poorest condition in which it is acceptable to live”, according to the Oxford English Dictionary – has dropped to just a £2.10 spend on food and drink per day.
For the past week, hundreds of people have chosen to spend and consume as if they were on the breadline, as part of the “Breadline Challenge”. Those people have been sponsored, and the money raised will go to fund Foodcycle’s “hubs” (community projects serving meals for people at risk from food poverty).
They’ve already raised over £5,000 of their £8,000 target, although many of the participants have been struggling:
Completed the #BreadlineChallenge and (for only five days!) I found it very difficult. So sad to think ppl have to live like that everyday
— Rebecca Ward (@RebeccaAlice) November 29, 2014
— Elizabeth (@TangoRaindrop) November 30, 2014
#BreadlineChallenge My will power is being tested whilst out with an old friend over from NYC. This is the toughest thing ever.
— Shivi Ramoutar (@ShiviRamoutar) November 28, 2014
Mary McGrath, FoodCycle’s Chief Executive, said: “At a time of high unemployment, rising food prices and living costs, and stagnating salaries, it is without a doubt that many more people are being pressed into hard times.
“We and our volunteers see this every day up and down the country. An estimated four million people in the UK are affected by food poverty and over 900,000 were forced to access food banks in 2013.”
Lincoln is no exception to this pattern, according to a report released earlier this year. Demand for food had soared by 170% over the past year at Lincoln Community Larder.
“We don’t believe that food poverty and food waste should co-exist in the UK so we’re doing something about it,” Mary continued. “We hope others can help by taking part in the Breadline Challenge, raising vital funds for our projects and raising awareness of the growing problem of food poverty in communities across the country.”