The plant-based frozen food company Strong Roots is launching the world’s first ‘Veg Amnesty’ to help fight ‘veg poverty’ in the UK.
From Monday 19 July, households across Britain are being invited to donate surplus frozen veg to neighbouring in-need households. Research shows that up to 9 million UK households have forgotten food in their freezers after stocking up during the various lockdowns over the past 18 months.
The Veg Amnesty initiative is much needed and comes at a critical time. At present 6.5 million families in the UK are living in veg poverty, defined by Strong Roots as the inability to afford or access the government’s recommended five portions of fruit and per day.
Strong Roots ambassador for Make Veg Poverty History Nicola Adams is supporting the Veg Amnesty. She stars in a short, light-hearted film, shot in her home city of Leeds, where she can be seen drumming up support from veg-wielding locals as she runs through the city.
Veg poverty levels set to rise further
The Veg Amnesty comes at a time in which veg poverty looks set to worsen further as more people than ever continue to be reliant on food banks and the government’s Job Retention Scheme closes at the end of September.
Simple action, big impact
The Veg Amnesty marks the second phase of Strong Roots’ social mission to ‘Make Veg Poverty History’. Make Veg Poverty History launched in January this year when the company opened the first dedicated Frozen Veggie Food Bank in central London, whilst also donating freezers and thousands of meals to food banks around the UK in areas where deprivation is high. Now the company is partnering with OLIO, the UK’s No 1 free sharing app for the Veg Amnesty which allows neighbour to neighbour donations via the app.
Nicola Adams said: “We had a lot of fun making the film highlighting a serious issue close to my heart and in my home town too. I am passionate about the power of good nutritious food. Eating right is something everyone should be able to do no matter their situation, so I hope it inspires people to get involved in the Veg Amnesty and join our mission.”
Veg Amnesty taps into a post-pandemic positive
Person to person donations are a positive legacy of the Covid-19 pandemic with the old mantra ‘love thy neighbour’ never being truer according to recent data which reveals that:
- Two thirds of Britons say they will make an effort to support their neighbours and local community once the pandemic is over
- 60 per cent report a closer bond with their neighbours now compared to at the start of lockdown one in March 2020
- OLIO report a sharp rise in sharing during the pandemic, with food sharing on the app notably a key growth category
Food waste Britain
The Veg Amnesty is tied closely to the issue of food waste, with:
- UK households throwing around £12.5 billion of food away every year
- Over half of all food waste taking place in the home
- The freezer fast becoming a dumping ground for food with 9 million UK households having forgotten food in their freezers.
Strong Roots CEO Samuel Dennigan commented:
“We all bought too much in lockdown, so anyone with surplus frozen veg in their freezer can dig it out rather than waste it. By using the free sharing app OLIO people can simply give it to someone on their street or in their community who might need it. Something so simple can really help the fight to end veg poverty in the UK”.
To donate frozen vegetables to the Veg Amnesty, all people have to do is register, for free, with OLIO, and donate any frozen veg (unopened or opened) to those in the local area. Find out more at: www.makevegpovertyhistory.com