St Giles welcomes the growing momentum led by Marcus Rashford’s Taskforce to end child food poverty the UK. We are delighted to see that a growing number of companies and businesses have also lent their voices and support to the taskforce.
Since 2007, St Giles has offered specialist services supporting disadvantaged families experiencing poverty and hardship, initially though services helping children of serving prisoners and more recently through our wider work.
The need for such support has become increasingly acute over years where many families from disadvantaged communities have borne the brunt of austerity. During the first two months of lockdown we provided 83,000 fresh and healthy meals to vulnerable clients and their families who would otherwise have struggled to provide for themselves during the extreme challenges that the lockdown put them under.
These families now face an uncertain future due to:
- Growing unemployment
- Increasing inequality
- Increased risks of grooming and gang involvement for young people
- Increased risks of substance misuse and mental ill health
Our aspiration is to support these families though the future challenges, using our peer-led approach to provide credible, empathetic support from someone who really understands what they are going through.
Rob Owen OBE, Chief Executive of St Giles, said: “It is scandalous that, in 2020, families are struggling to afford basics such as good quality, nutritious food. We all have a part to play in ensuring that these families – many of whom are in employment, working long hours in key worker roles – get the support they deserve.”
Alongside help with practical issues such as food, accessing services and addressing issues around debt and benefits, we also aspire for our clients to become positive role models who can then help others. This will help bring about positive social change from the grassroots, inspiring others in similar situations.
Since 2019, St Giles has provided services offering disadvantaged individuals and families the chance to access good quality, healthy food at a low cost though its Pantry project. Find out more here