The Breadline Challenge saw Veolia Southwark employees live on £2.86 a day for a week to raise awareness of food poverty in the borough, and over £400 was raised to support FoodCycle, Veolia’s charity partner. This is enough to provide the ingredients to make a three course meal for 1900 people.
Veolia Southwark provides recycling and refuse services on behalf of Southwark Council. To meet the breadline challenge, staff carefully planned their food and drink, to live on £20.02 for the week running from 16-22 November. Daily spend updates to inspire the team and boost morale were provided by receptionist, Julie Hunton, who also participated in the challenge.
Julie commented: “The lack of flexibility was the hardest thing to adjust to. I couldn’t just go out for a meal or to the pub. It really put in to perspective how challenging and limiting food poverty can be.”
FoodCycle was chosen as Veolia’s charity partner due to their alignment with the company’s strategic objectives around waste reduction and the creation of green products and energy. The business aims to raise £100,000 for the charity by December 2016, as well as giving staff the opportunity to use a day of working time, to volunteer and support FoodCycle with fundraising or at one of their food hubs. Veolia Southwark are arranging for some of the 300 staff to volunteer at local FoodCycle hub in Peckham, which provides healthy, communal meals to those in need, in the nearby community.
An estimated four million people in the UK today are affected by food poverty and FoodCycle works to tackle this issue. Over £12,000 has already been raised since the beginning of Veolia’s charity partnership in July, which is enough to make 96,000 three course meals and distribute 60 tonnes of food to those in need.
Fabrice Bouchon, General Manager for Veolia Southwark said: “We are passionate about supporting communities and preventing avoidable waste here in Southwark, so it is great to support such a worthwhile charity that helps to combat food waste, whilst helping those in need.”