Leading rural insurer NFU Mutual has enabled the donations with an additional pledge of £750,000 to the Charitable Trust in response to the ongoing challenges faced by communities across the UK.
The funding will support a wealth of initiatives, such as efforts to tackle mental health concerns and food insecurity. Impacts will include 600,000 meals distributed by FareShare to vulnerable individuals and families across the UK.
Announced today, the eight charities set to benefit from the additional funding are; Addington Fund, FareShare, Farming Community Network, Prince’s Countryside Fund, Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I), RSABI, Rural Support and Samaritans.
The donations will be available immediately, allowing the charities to continue providing their critical services at a time when the demand for their support is high, but many of their usual fundraising events have had to be cancelled.
FareShare, the UK’s biggest charity fighting hunger and food waste, will receive a donation of £150,000. This will help to divert food which would otherwise have gone to waste onto people at risk of hunger. FareShare has experienced a surge in demand for its services and is preparing for a continued increase in UK food insecurity as more people resort to frontline voluntary sector services as a result of the pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, the charity has already more than doubled the amount of food it distributes each week – to the equivalent of over 2 million meals.
Lindsay Boswell, FareShare Chief Executive, said: “It is essential that FareShare is able to continue to distribute the higher volumes of food we are supplying to those most in need across the UK. We are extremely grateful to the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust for this support, which comes at a crucial time and will make a huge difference as we continue to tackle the issue that good food goes to waste whilst millions experience food poverty. The donation will help expand projects like our new warehouses in Aberdeen and Cornwall, getting food to harder to reach rural and isolated parts of the UK.”
The £750,000 of additional funding for the Charitable Trust is part of NFU Mutual’s £2.75m donation pledge to support communities in 2021, made in response to the ongoing challenges caused by the pandemic. The remaining £2m will be donated to local frontline charities through the insurer’s Agency Giving Fund.
Lindsay Sinclair, Group Chief Executive of NFU Mutual, said: “A recent NFU Mutual survey showed that one in five respondents have felt uncertain how to cope with the potential emotional implications of the pandemic. These feelings are driving a growing need for support, and we want to help these charities meet the demand, enabling them to maintain practical and emotional support for our communities at a time which is proving to be especially difficult.
“The impact of the funding will reach the isolated and vulnerable, those experiencing mental health issues and families facing financial challenges across the UK – all areas of particular concern as the pandemic continues to affect our communities. Last year saw the highest value of support provided by the Charitable Trust since it was formed in 1998. We’re proud to match the same level of funding this year as national charities strive to meet the demand for their vital services. We recognise that these continue to be difficult times and understand the importance of extending our heightened support during the ongoing crisis.”