According to a recent study by SureSafe, the cost-of-living crisis is hitting those over 75 hard! In fact, 70% of those over the age of 75 report being negatively impacted by the crisis in some way, and 20% sometimes need to choose between essential purchases like heating, electricity, and food.
ASDA is utilising its winter initiative to help with the problem and sold over 120,000 £1 meals to 60+ patrons in just three weeks.
There are even more ways we can ensure our elderly community members are fed this winter season. We asked Daniel Westhead, the Managing Director at SureSafe, to share some ways you can get involved this Christmas!
Direct Donations to Care Homes
According to Care England, 97% of care homes are worried about food costs due to inflation and the rising cost of goods. These facilities welcome donations but do have stipulations about the types of food you can bring in. It’s best to avoid bringing hot food unless it’s from a restaurant, and be mindful about ‘use by’ dates to ensure food is not spoiled.
While boxed mac and cheese, peanut butter, and jam are great non-perishable options, make sure you are also supplying the bread, milk, and butter required to make them. Prepackaged meals, canned goods, and low-sodium stacks are also excellent options. However, ensure that the residents have can openers if delivering to a residential care home that doesn’t have a central kitchen like a nursing home will.
If you want to be more involved than just dropping off food at a centre, there are also some great volunteering opportunities. Meals on Wheels is available in England and the UK to drop off meals for the elderly, but they are always looking for volunteers to help out. There are also local grocery shopping assistance groups where you can pick up and deliver orders to save individuals the trouble of getting to the store and back. Check out Age UK for more information in your area.
Food drives and fundraising events are an excellent option if you want to help on a larger scale. Get in touch with a local church or community centre to gather larger donations to take to local Food Banks. There are 1,400 Trussel food banks and 1,172 food banks throughout the UK, so finding one nearby shouldn’t be too difficult.
Collaborate with Local Businesses
Maybe you want to give back but don’t have much extra money to spend but love to network. Try collaborating with businesses! Many local grocery stores offer discounts or donations to help during the Christmas season, so be sure to reach out and ask your local businesses.
Use Meal Delivery Services
Don’t forget about ensuring your loved ones are fed throughout the busy season. There are a number of affordable meal delivery services that provide easy-to-cook, healthy meals.
Enjoy the festive season and give back to the elderly community this year with these expert tips.