A new local campaign has been created by The Community Foundation to help vulnerable people eat and keep warm during the winter months across the Staffordshire Moorlands.
It is estimated that 1 in every 8 of us must choose between fuel and food each winter. ‘Surviving Winter’ is an annual campaign fighting such poverty with the programme raising money to target the vulnerable to ensure they stay warm, fed and well over winter.
It is estimated by the Government that 1.7M children and 6M older people* struggle to get enough to eat and keep their homes warm. The charity Sustain believes the figure is higher at 8.4M with BAME, disabled, children and older people the most affected. It is estimated to be much worse than normal this year due to Coronavirus and as an established, registered charity specifically for the county, The Community Foundation wants to use its ability to directly support key groups across the Staffordshire Moorlands this Winter.
Most people who fall into food poverty struggle because their income is too low or unreliable and this is compounded by an increased cost of living with many reliant on supplies from food banks. Indeed, The Trussell Trust estimate they give out a food parcel every 9 seconds during winter.
Fuel poverty is defined by a household unable to afford to heat their home to an adequate temperature. The significant rise in the cost of gas and electricity has led to the charity End Fuel Poverty claiming 11,400 people die every winter in a cold home.
The Community Foundation has set up a JustGiving page for donations: https://staffordshire.foundation/partnershipsinitiatives/survivingwinter21/. People can also text SWSTAFFS to 70085 and donate £5 (plus standard message rate). Corporate donations should email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss their requirements.
Steve Adams, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation said:
“The Covid-19 Pandemic has had a serious impact on many families’ income and finances throughout 2021, meaning thousands more children than normal are facing food poverty this Christmas and Winter, as well as numerous elderly residents struggling to afford their basic heating costs. We want to make a difference.
“An estimated 8 million people in the UK struggle to get enough to eat. This includes many households with people in work, families with children, as well as older, disabled and BAME people. It is estimated to be even worse this year due to Coronavirus, with many people facing unemployment and unable to access crucial support services due to isolation. This has led to many people being faced with the difficult choice of paying either for their heating or being able to afford sufficient quality meals daily. It’s astounding to think that this is happening in 2021.”
“The Community Foundation is ideally placed to directly target those in need through its network across the county. We are getting reports from community groups and teachers that support is critical this year due to Covid-19. Many older people stay silent due to pride. Youngsters do not know where to look for support. Plus, a side effect of food and fuel poverty is that school children’s education will suffer now and so affect their chances of success in the future. With help we can ensure that these people get help quickly and effectively.”