The St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) is partnering with social enterprise Social Bite and online food delivery service Just Eat to provide thousands of meals to feed people this winter.
The Christmas Meal Appeal aims to fund 200,000 meals for homeless and vulnerable people experiencing the trauma of food poverty. Visitors to the just-eat.co.uk website can choose to donate £3, £5 or £10, with Just Eat matching the amount, pound for pound.
The campaign is being supported by Hollywood A-lister Dame Helen Mirren, who says: “For more than 320,000 people, homeless people across the UK, Christmas is another day of hunger and loneliness… This is a chance to offer some festive help for those who have less than ourselves. So, if you can, please make a donation to buy someone a Christmas meal, so we can all have a Merry Christmas.”
The SVP runs community support centres across England and Wales, all of which provide meals and food parcels for vulnerable people. SVP members also organise soup runs as part of the SVP’s mission to seek out and help anyone in need.
“The Christmas Meal Appeal will provide much needed support for individuals and families suffering food poverty during the harsh winter months. The effects of the pandemic have been debilitating for hundreds of thousands, so please donate to the appeal and help us feed people, who through no fault of their own, cannot feed themselves.”
-Helen O’Shea, National President
Covid-19 has propelled thousands of families into poverty this year, driving demand for charitable food support. The SVP has seen a three-fold increase in requests for food, with further increases expected as the winter and the after-effects of the pandemic bite.
Josh Littlejohn from Social Bite comments: “This year has been a lot more difficult than most, with many people finding themselves financially vulnerable, and in the worst-case, homeless. We know that Christmas, in particular, can be a very challenging time, which is why we’re delighted to be partnering with Just Eat for the Christmas Meal Appeal to help fill at least 100,000 plates this year all over the UK.”
The Christmas Meal Appeal campaign’s timing is apt as the charitable sector faces a £10 billion shortfall this year. Figures for homelessness and food poverty are rising in the wake of the pandemic, leaving support services struggling to cope with demand.
After an exceptionally difficult year for so many, we're proud to partner with Social Bite… matching customers' donations pound for pound to provide tens of thousands of Christmas meals for the UK’s homeless and vulnerable people.”
- Andrew Kenny, UK Managing Director for Just Eat
The Christmas Meal Appeal is open until 21 December. Watch Helen Mirren’s video in support of the Christmas Meal Appeal:
Video credit: Social Bite and Just Eat
For more information or to donate to the SVP’s Rise to the Challenge campaign, go to www.svp.org.uk/rise, @SVPEnglandWales (#SVPRiseChallenge) or telephone 020 7703 3030.
For more information on the Christmas Meal Appeal, please go to social-bite.co.uk/just-eat