In the UK, our food poverty is amongst the worst of any European country. We all know the economic impact of the pandemic and how it’s hitting the most vulnerable in our society. The pandemic has made it harder for those on the breadline to purchase affordable food. We’re taking a look at the impact of the pandemic on food poverty and how tackling food waste can help solve these issues in our post-pandemic world.
The impact of the pandemic on food poverty
According to the United Nations, 8.4 million people in Britain struggle to find enough to eat. While the UK is the world’s 6th largest economy, this statistic puts the UK on a par with Hungary and Latvia, following a growing trend of food insecurity that has been developing since the 2008 financial crisis.
Women are considered to be most at risk of food poverty as they make up 86% of single-parent households, the largest demographic of food bank users.
There is no denying that the pandemic has made a difficult situation even worse. We all remember the scenes of empty supermarket sleeves and the stockpiling of basic necessities like pasta and toilet roll.
Research has shown that food poverty has grown during the pandemic due to loss of and reduction in income, particularly from those who work in hospitality and the sectors most impacted by the pandemic. Growing challenges with accessing food, primarily caused by bulk buying, meant food banks struggle to maintain inventory. The financial impact of the pandemic meant that more people were turning to food banks at a time when they had little to no supply.
The Trussell Trust, which runs a network of 1,300 food banks, saw an almost 50% increase in demand during the pandemic. Almost half of their food parcels went to children.
Tackling food waste in the UK
While parts of the population struggled with food poverty, food waste remains a prevalent issue in the UK. Although levels of food waste have dropped year on year, the self-reported level of food waste is estimated to be 13.7%.
In the 21st century, no one should be going hungry in the UK. Tackling food waste and feeding the most vulnerable in our society is a social cause our founder is passionate about. In 2019, Doctor Anika launched an online petition, calling on the Prime Minister to adopt similar anti-food waste policies to France. Since 2016, our European neighbours have prohibited supermarkets from throwing out unused and edible food instead of requiring them to donate unsold food items to local charities.
Doctor A’s campaign to end food poverty
Doctor A Cosmetics is a skincare brand on a mission to change the world. As an eco-friendly skincare brand, our social conscious drives everything we do, from encouraging diversity within the beauty industry to supporting social campaigns through our charity partner.
Tackling food poverty is one of the social issues at the heart of our ‘Give Back Beauty’ campaign. We are supporting the work of the Anika Food Charity, established by our founder, that acts as a baby and food bank. Anika Food Charity also campaigns on widespread social causes related to food poverty, food wastage, food insecurity such as domestic violence, mental health, and homelessness.
You can support Anika Food Charity’s campaign on food wastage here: https://www.change.org/p/boris-johnson-end-food-wastage-in-the-united-kingdom
Doctor A is proud to donate 5% of our annual profits to Anika Food Charity to help end food poverty in the UK.