A Call the Midwife star is urging people to turn the cost of a coffee into a meal for deprived Southwark families.
Actress and Camberwell resident Jenny Agutter OBE, known for her role as Sister Julienne in long-running show Call the Midwife, is encouraging donations to the St Giles charity, which helps adults and young people facing poverty.
This comes as the increased cost of living presents a difficult time for low income households, as inflation has not been met by a rise in wages or Universal Credit.
Ms Agutter, a patron of St Giles, said: “Christmas 2021 is going to be a tough time for most of us, but families who have been hit by the cut to Universal Credit and the surge in fuel and food costs will be suffering the hardest.
“Our message is simple, why not swap one of your festive coffees for a donation to help us support even more distressed families. You could help a parent in real need and your gift will be appreciated and have a lasting impact.”
A donation of £3.50 on this website will help feed a family for up to three days, while £10 could give a family access to peer support to end food dependency.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the Consumer Price Index – how much you pay for typical goods and services – recently rose by 4.2 per cent, the highest 12-month inflation rate for ten years.
Increased costs across food, transport and housing have led to 2.4 million children living in food insecure households in the UK. There are currently over 32,000 households in Southwark who rely on Universal Credit.
St Giles charity runs a network of food pantries in Camberwell, Kensington and Stamford Hill to help families who are struggling to make ends meet – offering nutritious, healthy food in return for a subscription of £3.50 – and also give expert advice and support on issues trapping clients in poverty.
The aim is to offer families a sustainable route out of poverty, and tries to enable them to become independent within six months.
The staff all have direct experience of these issues themselves and are now employed by St Giles to help others make positive progress.