Christmas for most of us is a time to spend time with your friends and family, open lots of presents and eat even more food! However, for some people, it is also one of the hardest times of the year. Thirteen million people live below the poverty line in the UK, with individuals going hungry every day for a range of reasons. Poverty in the UK is defined as when your resources are well below your minimum needs. Poverty means not being able to heat your home, pay your rent, or buy yourself food.
The causes of poverty are things that reduce your resources or increase your needs and the costs of meeting them. Some of these causes can also be consequences, creating a cycle that traps you. Life events and moments of transition – getting sick, bereavement, redundancy or relationship breakdown – are common triggers for poverty. Poverty could happen to any one of us, at any time and that is why Phoenix wanted to help.
We believe that Christmas is also a time for giving. Some of us at Phoenix have decided to donate much-needed supplies to our local food bank. Food banks in the UK provide more than just food. They provide help, reassurance and guidance to people who are in need. Our local Chelmsford food bank has been helping people in the local area for 5 years and has helped over 3,000 families last year who found themselves living below the poverty line due to unforeseen circumstances.
This festive season we have donated 3 large boxes to the food bank, full of dry food, toiletries and cleaning products to try and help families who are struggling over Christmas. We believe it is extremely important to give back to our local community and help those who are less fortunate than us to ensure everyone has the best Christmas possible.
If you would also like to get involved, there are currently over 400 food banks operating in the UK, who are all need of help. You can find your local food bank here and the list of all the urgent items they need here. Food banks give more than just food, so you can also donate your time and advice here. If you are unable to donate then you can simply help spread the word and help make this Christmas the merriest of them all, for everyone!