Bucket List No 7 – Do something for charity

1 Jan

When I picked this bucket list to do, my idea was to give my time. Perhaps spend a day in a soup kitchen, spend time some with old people, or work in Sydenham Garden for those suffering from mental health problems.

As the year was drawing to an end, I realised I just didn’t have the time to give. The silver lining to this is that it forced me to think about charity work from a different angle and it’s made me realise there are loads of other ways you can help out.

You can give away unwanted things to a charity shop or set up a direct debit or make a one off donation to a charity whose cause you’re passionate about. Or you can give to your local food bank.

At this time of the year, many people with money worries are having to choose between heating or food and a lot of them are families with young children. In 2013-14, food banks helped 913,138 people and 330,205 were children. Shocking for the sixth richest country in the world, isn’t it?

Statistics can be hard to get your head around so here are just some of the ordinary, everyday people behind these numbers. An ex-serviceman whose life fell apart after post traumatic stress disorder, a young boy who refuses to go to school because he can’t face the embarrassment of not having money for lunch, a student who is made redundant from both her jobs within one month and a family who borrow a tin of soup from a neighbour to stop their 18 month old daughter going hungry.

Food bank

Food bank shopping list

When people like these access a food bank, they are given a box with enough supplies for at least three days. Food banks have a list of suitable, non-perishable items so check this before you buy anything.

There is so much food on this planet, more than enough to feed all those living on it. Which makes it all the more infuriating that there are still so many people going to bed hungry. But unlike so many of the problems our world is facing, this is one where you can provide direct, practical help to those who need it.

Check the link below for your local food bank and next time you’re in the supermarket, add a few items to your shopping basket and go drop them off at the designated time and place. That’s really how easy it is.

To find your nearest food bank go to http://www.trusselltrust.org/map

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