Heart Warming Foodbank Challenge Encourages Locals and Celebrities to Donate to Foodbanks All Over the UK
Highland local Alex has taken Twitter and Facebook by storm with his foodbank challenge, which encourages others to donate anything they can to their local foodbanks and share their contributions with others via #FoodbankChallenge. Those taking part would then nominate someone else to donate, in hopes that the idea could be spread as far as possible, both locally and nationally.
“This is life when you live in food poverty. I’ve been there myself. Without food banks and the generous donations they get people wouldn’t have that choice. Foodbanks are struggling to keep up – We shouldn’t need them full stop.”
Alex uses the services of foodbanks whilst living on a mere £190 a month himself and felt raising awareness of how much more resources they need is vital. He nominated actor Hugh Grant to take part causing the challenge to gain more momentum when the Hollywood star stepped up, then nominating Gary Lineker. Grant arranged for a donation to be delivered to Airdrie Foodbank, much to the surprise of staff and volunteers. Volunteer Linda Murray said, “We were completely gobsmacked. There were a good few pallets full, but sadly we need more – referrals for our foodbank have shot up by 103% over the last year.”
Many far and wide have taken part and continue to take part, including local business owner Ashley from Glasgow, who asked all of her customers to each bring one thing for her to collectively donate. Alex himself raised money to donate to Airdrie and Euston Foodbanks
“In my opinion foodbanks are either in or heading toward crisis. I recently highlighted how several UK foodbanks have put out emergency This is something I feel incredibly passionate about. Please keep giving to your foodbank if you are able to. They need us more than ever.”
Indeed, in a country where the economy is the 5th largest in the world, the reliance on foodbanks in the UK is staggering. The Trussel Trust released figures suggesting they gave out over 1.3 million emergency food parcels last year. (The Trussel Trust represents approximately 60% of all foodbanks in the UK). The Trust also stated it had to give almost half a million emergency food supplies to children last year.
Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust, explains:
“As a nation we expect no one should be left hungry or destitute – illness, disability, loss of job could happen to any of us and we owe it to each other to make sure sufficient financial support is in place when we need it most.”
“It’s hard to break free from hunger if there isn’t enough money coming in to cover the rising cost of absolute essentials like food and housing. It’s completely unacceptable that anyone is forced to turn to a foodbank as a result.”
Alex also writes his own blog documenting what it is like to live on Universal Credits. He is disabled and suffers from other neurological symptoms that affect his ability to be independent. In areas where Universal Credit full service has been running for at least 12 months, figures suggest there’s been a 52% increase in food bank use and reliance.
Alex continues to promote the hashtag on Twitter to encourage people to not forget about the idea of giving back. He urges users and followers to let everyone know such a rich UK economy ‘has everyone starving. He posts daily updates about his life on Universal Credits which detail daily costs he has amounted, which helps to create understanding for others of how tight finances can be for those who feel they have no choice but to turn to foodbanks.
“More and more people require foodbanks just to get by. Nobody should be going without food in this day and age. Join the challenge to help raise awareness of a massive issue nobody wants to talk about. Hugh Grant took the challenge: will you?”
You can read more on Alex’s activity and campaigns here: