From memories of the family meals you had when growing up to the food you cook every day for your loved ones now, dinner is an occasion that holds special meaning for many of us. Whether it’s bonding time, catching up with each other or simply enjoying delicious food together, it’s an essential part of our daily lives.
Dolmio believes that dinner time matters. Evidence shows that families who cook and eat together are happier, healthier and stronger. Shared mealtimes are associated with a wide range of benefits, from better emotional health and life satisfaction to healthy eating habits and positive educational outcomes for children.
However, there are now 14 million people in the UK living in poverty, including 4 million children. Food bank usage has increased by almost 75% in the last five years, and it’s clear that not everyone can afford to put food on the table.
Dolmio believes that everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits that dinnertime brings, which is why they’re donating £100,000 to the Trussell Trust so that they can distribute two million meals in emergency food parcels through their network of food banks in the UK.
Dolmio is taking a stand against hunger and we want to tell you about the many ways that you can too, from the best ways to make donations to fund-raising and volunteering. Here are some ideas to get you started.
10 ways to make a stand against hunger
Donate your time
Support your local community by volunteering at a food bank – roles can range from organising donations to making food deliveries to those in need. Find out the latest volunteer roles at the Trussell Trust here.
Contact your MP
Ending poverty means issuing a call to action for MPs. to let them know you care about the 14 million people living in poverty in the UK, and ask how they plan to change this. This may take the form of an email or letter, or meeting them face to face to lobby in person.
Get smart with donations
More than 90% of the food distributed at the Trussell Trust is given by the public so donations are essential, but it’s important to give the right items – often food banks have too much of some items and not enough of another. Click here to find out what items your local food banks are in need of. Remember, as well as donating directly to a food bank you can also contribute at collection points in supermarkets across the country or you can host a collection at your school, church or business.
Take the first steps in the stand against hunger by educating yourself about poverty. The Trussell Trust has an extensive list of resources – from reports to books and films – that explore the causes, effects and experiences of poverty in the UK. Reading and watching as much as you can will better equip you when it comes to taking a stand against this issue. https://www.trusselltrust.org/resources
Invest in your local community
Volunteer with community-focussed charities and organisations in your area. One example is Bristol’s Square Food Foundation, a not-for-profit cookery school that works with the city’s schools and community groups to offer everything from lunch clubs to hands-on cookery workshops for children and free vocational programmes in food and cooking for young people.
Donate products beyond food
It’s easy to assume that food banks are most in need of food but there are a range of toiletries and hygiene products that are also in demand. It’s estimated that around 137,000 UK girls will miss school each year because of a lack of access to sanitary products so items such as tampons and sanitary pads are essential items to donate. Other toiletries include deodorant, soap, toilet paper, shampoo, shower gel and toothpaste. As well as this, consider donating baby supplies such as nappies, baby wipes and baby food, and household items such as laundry detergent and washing up powder.
Get your employer involved
Check if your company offers payroll giving. This method lets you donate money to an organisation such as the Trussell Trust directly from your gross salary – before tax is deducted – which gives immediate tax relief on your donations. All you have to do is speak to your HR department and they’ll arrange the donation from your salary for you.
Think of others on special occasions
Got a celebration coming up? On special occasions consider asking friends and family to donate to the Trussell Trust in lieu of gifts. For weddings and civil partnerships you can add charitable donations to your gift list (and even include a text giving code on invitations and place cards). For birthdays, invite friends to donate instead of buying gifts for you, or create a Facebook Birthday Fundraiser. It costs nothing to set up and is a great way of spreading news of your fundraising target on social media.
Get your friends and colleagues involved
Get your company to become a corporate partner and fundraise in the office. Ideas can range from holding coffee and cake sales at work to sponsored silences, quiz nights, football tournaments and more.
To find out more about why dinnertime matters and how to take a stand against food hunger, visit dolmio.co.uk