Fighting food poverty this winter is as big a priority as combating coronavirus

Editorial: Charitable efforts can be powerful, even at times like these. And there are few more pressing causes than meeting the basic human need of sustenance

Monday 16 November 2020 20:04 GMT
<p>Staff organise food donations for families at the Cooking Champions food bank in Grange Park, London</p>

Staff organise food donations for families at the Cooking Champions food bank in Grange Park, London

The Independent has been running an annual charity appeal since we were founded in 1986. We – or rather you, our readers, our audience – have generously supported many causes. Each year has had different themes, different priorities. This winter, though, we also know will be the harshest since the last world war, both materially, for many, and emotionally for all.  

Perhaps by the time of next Christmas, coronavirus vaccines across the world will save lives and livelihoods too as life returns to a more normal pattern of freedom and human contact. We will, as the Queen suggested, meet again.

For the present, however, there are families and children with not enough to eat. Thanks to campaigners such as Marcus Rashford, and the support of government and local councils, there will be more financial assistance available to more families than for many years. Yet we can always do more and our Help the Hungry campaign, in collaboration with partners The Felix Project and With Compassion, aims to deliver many more meals and help to alleviate hunger.

Hard-pressed as many are, and understandably concerned about the economic outlook, it is also true that many, if only in financial terms, will have got through the turmoil of this year relatively well.  

The Covid crisis has reminded us all in the starkest and most intrusive of ways that we are a society, and that what we do and how we behave vitally affects these around us. When we put up with the inconvenience of wearing a face covering, for example, it is less about protecting ourselves from breathing in the virus, and more to do with protecting others from ourselves should we be infected. The sacrifices millions have made in their social lives especially and in lost earnings are similarly for a greater, common good.

The charitable instinct is a powerful one, even at times such these, and there can be no more pressing cause than meeting the basic human need of sustenance. Many of us have some power to do something modest to end the hunger of others, and together we can do a surprising amount to help the hungry.

This November and December we will be delivering food directly to 1,000 people a day through our partner With Compassion. Please donate here to help us do all we can to ensure no one goes hungry this Christmas

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