There’s no doubt Christmas is set to be a little different this year.
The uncertainty around the nature of the festive season is playing on everyone’s mind due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the level of restrictions which may be put in place, and the economic fallout, but for the 1.9 million+ people who use foodbanks in our society, that isn’t the only thing they have to worry about.
Ensuring they have access to food and vital items at Christmas time is always a priority.
But it’s more important this year than ever before – with families and children expected to be hit hardest – and this is why charities and foodbank organisations are speaking out and urging the public to do their bit.
For shoppers, taking the time to donate even one item can have a huge impact on someone’s life this winter.
“The effects of the pandemic are being felt far and wide,” says FareShare UK CEO Lindsay Boswell.
“More people than ever are turning to charities and community groups because they’re unable to feed themselves and their families.”
She continued: “A single tin of tuna or vegetables may not seem like much to give, but if enough people make a small donation, together those donations can make a big difference to people who need our help this winter.”
Earlier this month, a report by charity The Trussell Trust – which runs a network of 1,300 foodbank centres across the UK – confirmed a 47% increase in support needed during the pandemic, with a record 1.2 million emergency food parcels being handed out in the first six months of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
From April to September, more than 470,000 of the food parcels were delivered to children, which on average came to around 2,600 every day.
Speaking on the importance of donations this year, Emma Revie – CEO of The Trussell Trust – said: “The pandemic has shown what can happen when we stand together in the face of adversity and how much people are willing to give to support their local community.”
The Trussell Trust is expecting its network of UK food banks to give out an emergency food parcel every nine seconds this winter.
FareShare is also set to supply food to 11,000 frontline charities.
If you’re looking for a way to make a worthy contribution ahead of the festive season, Tesco is among one of the leading UK supermarket retailers calling on shoppers to make a difference with a collection – which has been launched in Tesco Express, Tesco Metro and Tesco Extra stores nationwide – in partnership with FareShare UK and The Trussell Trust.
Customers are being asked to donate food up to 21st November.
It’s as simple as buying the items with your usual shopping and dropping them in the dedicated Food Collection trolley at the exit, and the food needed includes longer-life items such as rice, tea and tinned goods, all of which can be made into nutritious meals.
Claire De Silva – Head of Community at Tesco – said: “Every year customers are so generous, but this is not a normal year,”
“The two charities we work with need to provide more food than ever this Christmas.”
All the food that goes to FareShare is used to provide meals for vulnerable groups – such as isolated older people, and those in homeless shelters – and customers unable to contribute food in store can help by donating Tesco Clubcard points to the two organisations.
Tesco will top up the value of all donations with an additional 20% in cash.
If Tesco isn’t your local supermarket, donations of food and vital items can also be made at other supermarket retailers – including as Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and more – as well as other local independent foodbanks, and through a range of community-led initiatives.
Phil Foden’s bond with elderly City fan with dementia only gets more wholesome
Among the City fans flying high after the Manchester derby, 84-year-old Barry Carr was undoubtedly one those most bowled over on the day, as he was once again invited to Phil Foden‘s box to watch the game.
As you can see, Barry was invited back to watch the derby and treated to a 6-3 blockbuster, where he got to spend more time with Foden as well as meeting ex-player turned pundit Micah Richards.
One of the best bits is when he calls Erling Haaland “the big one”. You’re not wrong there, Barry!
The lifelong fan City fan was over the moon with the result and even more excited when he realised his favourite Foden had netted his own hattrick against against their historic rivals.
Following the game, the two share a lovely embrace and talk about the game, with Foden describing his game as a “dream come true”. We dare say Barry felt the same.
We’re not crying, you are…
While he struggles with his memory, most of time spent watching City vs United would have been quite different, as they were long-considered ‘the noisy neighbours’. Safe to say things have changed over the past decade.
‘Significant risk’ of UK gas shortages this winter, regulator warns
Energy regulator Ofgem has warned that the UK faces a ‘significant risk’ of gas shortages this winter.
According to reports in The Times, the regulator has unveiled concerns that the country could face blackouts over the coming months thanks to an undersupply of gas to Europe caused by Russia’s war with Ukraine.
Warning that a “gas supply emergency” could be looming ahead, the energy regulator has said that some gas-fired power plants could see their supplies cut off, which in turn would stop generators from producing electricity.
The alert comes just days before an expected update from the National Grid on the likelihood of countrywide power cuts this winter.
Responsing to arequest from SSE, which owns several gas power stations, Ofgem outlined what is set to be a huge issue of concern given that the UK relies on large gas plants to produce the biggest share of its electricity supply.
The regulator also pointed to rules that could see power plants penalised as a result of shortages, warning of a worst-case scenario that would see the “potential insolvency of gas-fired generators” caused by rules that require plants to pay huge charges if they fail to deliver on promised quotas.
Adding that the issue must be addressed to prevent a “significant impact on the safety and security of the electricity and/or gas systems”, the regulator echoed concerns now widespread in Europe as its comments followed a similar statement made by the International Energy Agency (IEA) this morning.
Europeans are already being told they must lower their thermostats and boilers in preparation in case gas supplies are cut off, with Paris-based agency IEA warning today that the EU must focus on getting underground gas reserve levels to 90% of capacity in case of a complete Russian supply shut-off.
Preparation are already being made in Europe with the German government having approved a set of energy-saving measures for the winter to limit use in public buildings. In France, meanwhile, companies have already been warned they may face energy rationing this winter.
Whilst the UK government is yet to announce any energey saving measures, Ofgem has said that it expect s“this winter to be more challenging than last year” and that it is taking “reasonable regulatory steps to mitigate and reduce the risks”.