We are on a mission to help people eat more veg. With so many low-income families struggling to eat well, we want to make a difference where the need is greatest.
With more people than ever in Britain reliant on food banks, we looked into the average food parcel and noticed the lack of fresh veg due to storage and preservation limitations. We commissioned national research which showed us that 1-in-4 low-income families were in what we called ‘Veg Poverty’ – defined as the inability to afford or access sufficient levels of fruit and veg to meet the government’s recommended 5-a-day.
With so many people, particularly in London, in Veg Poverty, we decided to do something about it and embark on a mission to Make Veg Poverty History.
In January 2021, we partnered with Bankuet, the UK’s first online food donation platform, and former Olympic boxer Nicola Adams to open the UK’s first Frozen Veggie Food Bank (the only food bank guaranteeing frozen veg in every parcel) in Hackney, London. The Frozen Veggie Food Bank helped to support food banks in the area for 4 weeks – sadly hitting full capacity every day it was open. In total, we delivered 1,200 food parcels and nearly 15,000 plates of nutritious, convenient frozen veggie meals. With demand for more Frozen Veggie Food Banks, we worked with Bankuet to supply food banks up and down the country with freezers and frozen veg, where deprivation is highest, from Bristol to Glasgow.
From here, we took our mission to Make Veg Poverty History into the nation’s homes after researched showed that up to 9 million UK households had forgotten food in their freezer after the various national lockdowns.
To make use of this forgotten frozen veg, we launched the UK’s first Veg Amnesty by partnering with the UK’s No.1 free sharing app Olio to encourage neighbour-to-neighbour donations. Make Veg Poverty History ambassador Nicola Adams led the charge in supporting the campaign for us again, motivating the nation to get involved.
Despite the success of our mission to Make Veg Poverty History so far, we’ve only scratched the surface. This year we’ve seen Poverty increase to peak-pandemic levels because of the cut in Universal Credit and ever-rising living costs – so there is now more to do than ever!
Staying committed to our mission, we will continue to supply freezers, frozen veg and support to food banks around the country but furthermore we will strive for systemic change in 2022, campaigning at the highest level to Make Veg Poverty History.