Food insecurity is defined as the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Sadly, a large proportion of the British population suffers from the daily anxiety of not knowing when their next meal will be.
Headlines about starving pensioners, malnourished and obese children and the plight of hungry rough sleepers are not an uncommon sight when perusing newspapers in Britain today. More than 3 million children go hungry over the school holidays, 300, 000 people are homeless and the number of rough sleepers is increasing annually across the UK
Food insecurity affects the young, the mature and elderly alike but the unaffordability of healthy and nutritious food has also been felt and recognised by institutions. According to a Unicef report, the UK fares as having some of the highest rates of food insecurity and childhood obesity in Europe, whilst doctors within the NHS warn of an old fashioned return to poverty and deprivation.
With so many hungry, vulnerable and malnourished people in crisis, The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK felt that it was necessary to utilise its unique perspective and experience and apply this to the UK scenario.
ROUGH SLEEPERS IN ENGLAND
CHILD FOOD INSECURITY
SEVERE FOOD INSECURITY
END HUNGER IN THE UK VIA SUSTAINED NUTRITION
TO SERVE 5 MILLION MEALS DAILY BY 2025
In 2017 The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK took on the initiative, much like its Indian counterpart did those 18 years ago, to venture into providing free and nutritious meals for the vulnerable, in London. TAPF UK came to this decision as the team had noticed a rising problem and an urgent need to tackle the state of hunger and homelessness in the UK.
A total of 8 million people across the nation suffer from food insecurity daily and since 2010 there has also been a 169% rise in homelessness. Reliance on food banks is on the increase, and due to the lack of affordability of fresh and healthy food families are resorting to cheap and filling alternatives – thus malnutrition and particularly child obesity is on the rise.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK have launched a feeding programme, aptly named Beat the Hunger to address these issue head-on and provide some relief for some of society’s most vulnerable citizens. Using frugal innovation, economies of scale and our proven capabilities to feed large numbers, we are trying to set up a sustainable model which enables low-cost provision of healthy food to deprived groups.
BEAT THE HUNGER
Our Beat the Hunger Programme focuses on providing food for rough sleepers and school children vulnerable to food insecurity over the school holidays. We are able to address holiday hunger by tying up with holiday clubs to provide catering for children during Christmas, Easter and the summer breaks.
Providing all year-round high quality. low cost. nutritious and fresh hot meals for children in poverty, through school and holiday clubs improving education and well-being.
Operation Holiday Hunger 2019/2020
Throughout the 2019 and 2020 school holidays TAPF UK tied up with several holiday clubs around London in areas such as Harrow, Brent, Southwark, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets and Croydon. This has all been in an effort to ensure that some of London’s most vulnerable children don’t go hungry during holidays. Without free school lunches, many families find it difficult to budget for the increase in their weekly food budget. This means that some families must subside on cheaper but severely unhealthy diets, whilst others are entirely unable to afford more food and are thus forced to starve. During this time, TAPF UK have served over 50,000, hot and nutritious meals to vulnerable children across London (pictured below).
In tackling homeless hunger, The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK found that we were the most effective when operating at the street level, which is why we have set up fixed distribution points across inner-city London. By being immediately accessible to those in need we are able to positively impact and improve upon the quality of life of thousands of rough sleepers at a consistent and constant rate.
Visit Our Kitchen
A £500 donation would help us to provide hot and nutritious meals to 2000 hungry and vulnerable Londoners in a day – why not donate towards the cause and sponsor a day's feeding operations.