The lockdown and Covid 19 have been particularly difficult on many BAME, low income and isolated families here in Edinburgh. In June 2020 ELREC started a food project to help bridge the gap between BAME people and food poverty and access to free food services such as food banks. This came about after ELREC was contacted by many community members asking for food support due to job losses, furlough, redundancies, and benefits income not being sufficient to live on for many families and also children being at home fulltime.
ELREC provided this work thanks to local funding but this has now ended, yet the demand for food parcels and halal meat for BAME families remains. The work is all volunteer led and these include ELREC staff, board members and our other volunteers who give up their time to help us deliver this project. ELREC provides on average 30 food parcels per week but not only put the parcels together but also deliver them to any family who are unable to collect them.
There are many BAME families within our communities who need and rely on this food support for many reasons but the standard food banks don’t meet their needs. Therefore, ELREC is asking for funds to top up their food support with specific items they need such as halal meat, nappies, baby milk or any other essential items.
Covid has only made matters worse with new data showing that 14% of adults living with children reported experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity in the last 6 months. Four million people including 2.3 million children live in these households. This compares to pre-Covid-19 levels of 11.5% amongst households with children.
The data revealed that 12% of adults living with children reported skipping meals because they could not afford or access food in the last 6 months.
4% of adults living with children reported having gone for a whole day without eating in the last 6 months.
10% of parents/guardians, affecting an estimated 1.9 million children, reported some form of child food insecurity in the past 6 months. Despite people returning to work and children to school, food insecurity remains extremely high for families.
While vital measures like the furlough scheme and Free School Meal vouchers may have prevented the situation worsening, a large number of children are still left in a precarious situation when it comes to securing the necessary healthy diet for them to grow, develop and participate actively in school and society. We want food equality for all, regardless of background.
Please donate what you can and help us keep doing this important work for our community. No child should go hungry and we pledge to use your donations to provide food support all year round, not just term time.
Ps: Thank you for supporting our food appeal, but if you are having issues making a donation on our GoFundMe page, please either pop in the office on 14 Forth Forth Street or you pay by BACS, ELREC food appeal, account number 00552000 sortcode 800234.
Foysol Choudhury MBE
Edinburgh & Lothians Regional Equality Council
14 Forth Street Edinburgh EH1 3LH
Tel 0131 [phone redacted]
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