A new survey from leading retailer ALDI and children’s charity Barnardos shows how starkly the cost-of-living crisis is hitting families across the country. According to research findings released today, more than one in four parents with children living at home felt that they have not had enough food to feed their families over the past 12 months.
The new research comes as ALDI and Barnardos announce the extension of their partnership for another two years. This will see the retailer committing to raise a further €1m for Barnardos through a two-year programme of staff, store, customer, and community fundraising initiatives supported by the company, on top of the €1m already raised to support vulnerable young children in Ireland over the past two years.
ALDI plans to support a number of charity initiatives to reach this €1m goal, for example, on-pack donations for key events such as charity Christmas cards and Easter and Mother’s Day flower bouquets. ALDI is also a primary sponsor of the Barnardos Big Active campaign, which aims to get people of all ages and abilities active while supporting mental health and general well-being.
The impact of cost of living on families
The research, conducted by Coyne Research on behalf of ALDI and Barnardos, revealed that a shocking 26% of parents with children living at home felt that they have not had enough food to feed their children over the past 12 months. 41% of those surveyed said that they have been consciously cutting back on food spending as the cost-of-living crisis is forcing families to choose between food and other essentials, such as energy costs.
Barnardos has seen a marked increase in demand for its services over recent months and is concerned about the toll that soaring bills are having on families’ mental health. The children’s charity has seen first-hand the effect of the current crisis on young children who attend its services, with many worried about where their next meal is coming from. Meanwhile, parents, who have not previously used its services, have been increasingly turning to Barnardos for food parcels consisting of staples such as bread, milk, cheese, and ham to provide their children with school lunches.
Encouragingly, almost nine in ten respondents reported having a home-cooked meal four to seven times a week, while over three-quarters (77%) said they encourage their children to cook. Interestingly, almost two-thirds (63%) thought that cooking and food preparation should be compulsory school subjects.
About the campaign
ALDI’s commitment to raising an additional €1m for the charity will be delivered through a two-year programme of staff, store, customer, and community fundraising initiatives, which includes a dedicated in-store Donation Day on Thursday 3rd November. All monies raised on the Donation Day will go directly to Barnardos Early Years and Family Support Programmes, kick-starting ALDI’s renewed partnership with the charity.
Barnardos is calling on ALDI customers to help vulnerable families experiencing food poverty by visiting www.Barnardos.ie/Aldi and donating online. Pledging as little as €4 can help Barnardos provide a hot dinner and access to specialised care for a child in a Barnardos after-school club. Text to donate information in the terms and conditions below.*
Announcing the partnership extension, ALDI Group Managing Director Niall O’Connor said: “This new research paints a very stark picture of the extent to which the cost-of-living crisis is impacting households and families. With so many of the most vulnerable people in our society now clearly struggling to put food on the table, essential services like those provided by Barnardos are critical.
“We’re enormously proud of the work we’ve done so far with Barnardos, but we know there is more to be done, and that our support is needed now, more than ever. By extending our partnership for a further two years, we are committed to delivering €1 million more to protect children at risk of food poverty during what is a hugely challenging time.
“We believe that everyone deserves access to affordable, quality food without compromise, and this remains at the heart of everything we do at ALDI. Together, and with the continued support of our customers, I’m confident that ALDI and Barnardos can make a substantial difference in tackling food poverty by supporting vulnerable families through this difficult time.”
Barnardos CEO Suzanne Connolly said: “Thanks to the incredible support of ALDI customers and staff, Barnardos has been able to provide much-needed and life-changing support to those when they need it most. Thanks to you, we have been able to provide over 10,000 meals for children; we can support over 1,000 children to be school ready and start life in the most positive way; and we have supported 100 families with specialised counselling, intensive parenting support and practical advice to ensure they can build resilience to live a hopeful life. We are excited to continue working with ALDI, creating lasting change in communities across Ireland – because childhood lasts a lifetime.”
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