At a time when charities are seeing a greater demand for their services and sadly a reduction in monetary donations, new research released from Just Eat has shown that Brits are turning to other means to support their local community.
According to the study, four out of five Brits (85%) are planning to give back to those in need this festive period, by volunteering. With many households facing increasing financial pressure, volunteering is becoming a more appealing way to give back, especially amongst Gen Zs. A staggering 8 in 10 (79%) of 16-24 year olds plan to volunteer this festive season, be it across food banks, community kitchens or supporting homeless shelters.
The value of volunteering shouldn’t be underestimated. Seven hours dedicated to a good cause is the equivalent to a monetary donation of £123.90*.
To help those who’d like to support their local community but may not be in the financial position to do so, Just Eat has launched its Winter Meal Appeal, a charity initiative which aims to support those facing hunger, loneliness and the threat of homelessness.
Just Eat will donate 5p for every order placed between 4th-11th December, up to the value of £250,000. All proceeds will go to Just Eat’s longstanding charity partners FoodCycle and Social Bite, which tackle food poverty and homelessness within local communities. Their services support low-income families, vulnerable individuals and those who have experienced mental health and physical health challenges.
To date, Just Eat’s Winter Meal Appeal, has provided one million hot and nutritious meals for those in need, thanks to the generosity of Just Eat customers who’ve supported the appeal over the last three years. Not only is the initiative tackling hunger, a large number of these meals are made from surplus food that would otherwise have gone to waste, therefore tackling food waste.
This Christmas, the campaign aims to reach a new milestone of providing 1.5 million hot meals to those in need.
Claire Pointon, Managing Director for Just Eat UK and Ireland commented: “Our long standing Winter Meal Appeal, now in its fourth year, has already helped provide millions of vulnerable people with hot food, accommodation, employment and companionship. At a time where many are coming together to celebrate the festive season with friends and family, there is still an urgent need to help those at risk of homelessness and hunger. Together with our charity partners, FoodCycle and Social Bite, and collectively with our employees, we are committed to giving back to those in need this winter.”
As well as hot meals, the Winter Meal Appeal funds life-changing projects that are breaking the cycle of homelessness through provision of sheltered accommodation and training programmes to help those who have experienced homelessness gain employment skills. The funds have also enabled the expansion of community kitchens in more towns and cities across the UK.
Josh Littlejohn, Founder of Social Bite said: “Campaigns like the Winter Meal Appeal are hugely important to charities like ours, especially when our services are more in demand than ever. For the last four years the Winter Meal Appeal continues to have a huge impact on those in need from providing hot meals to communities to helping to fund life-changing projects that enable those facing homelessness to get back on their feet. Every little bit really does have an impact so it’s heartwarming to see just how many are planning to donate their time to local causes, especially when many are facing financial hardship themselves. It really goes to show just how giving Brits are.”
Sophie Tebbetts, CEO of FoodCycle added: “We wouldn’t be able to run our community meals without our incredible volunteers. During the winter months we have over 7,500 volunteer sessions that need to be filled, in order to run our 81 Projects across the UK. The Winter Meal Appeal has been pivotal in helping run our projects as well as enabling us to open in new locations. It’s great to see that this year’s campaign is highlighting the significant impact that volunteering has on community projects, like FoodCycle. By spending a few hours with a local charitable cause, volunteers can help bring communities together as well as make a huge difference to those in need this winter.”
To celebrate the initiative and encourage the nation to come together this Christmas, Just Eat has teamed up with Broadcaster, FoodCycle ambassador Vicky Pattison who is calling on the nation to volunteer whatever time they can to local causes.
Each year, Just Eat utilises its network as a force for good, drawing on its employees to come together and volunteer. This year, Just Eat employees are set to volunteer across 100 local good causes, all which help to tackle food poverty. The business also has a number of donation points set up across its UK offices which will collect essential food items as well as adult and children’s winter coats for those in need.