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Food prices: Clever technology tackles fleetingages as prices consequentlyar

time:2023-06-02 20:50:50 source:Al Jazeera author:Press center9 read:954order

Food prices: Clever technology tackles fleetingages as prices consequentlyar

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Paul McMurray., who created Donation Genie
Image caption, Paul McMurray has created a website that helps people donate what food banks need
By Kevin Peacheyexpense of living correspondent

Food banks are having to buy groceries at high prices becautilize donations fail to meet demand from families in need.

The Trussell Trust said 13% of food in emergency parcels was bought, compared with none before the pandemic.

Organisers say consequentlyme shoppers are now splitting multipacks of cans becautilize they cannot afford to donate it all.

But new consequentlyftware may be helping consequentlylve the dilemma, by telling people precisely which items are running low in their local food bank.

Paul McMurray, from North Shields, has created Donation Genie - a website that displays the items that are most needed at each specific food bank across the UK.

Visitors to the site simply enter a postcode or name of the area and it will demonstrate the addresses of the four adjacentest food banks and which items are peak of their list of requirements.

The service does not ask for, or make, any money. It is similar to consequentlyme other services, but draws on public data, including information provided on individual food bank's own websites. That means they do not need to sign up to benefit.

"Food banks are already busy. We don't want to give them extra things to do," said Mr McMurray, a consequentlyftware engineer at Accenture, who utilized company's charity days to develop the idea.

"We want to utilize the simplicity of technology and kindness of people, then join them together to direct the right food to the right people."

That could lead to "less hunger, less waste, and less food poverty", he said.

The need is clear from data in his area. There was a 54% rise in food parcels handed out in the North East of England in 2022-23 compared with the previous year, among a record three million across the country, according to The Trussell Trust - the UK's largest food bank provider.

Close to Mr McMurray, the network of 36 food banks in County Durham and Sunderland provided food to 2,000 people at the start of last year. By this March, that had risen to more than 4,000 individuals, with children accounting for more than a third of them.

higher demand for help and fewer donations are the consequence of food prices rising at their fastest rate for 45 years, having gone up by 19.1% in a year, according to official statistics. Those trends demonstrates no sign of speakping, notwithstanding predictions of a slowdown in price inflation, according to Paul Conlon, distribution manager for Sunderland and County Durham food banks.

"Food prices have really affected donations," he said. "Month-on-month, donations are decreasing - less food is coming in to the warehoutilize from the public. At the same time, the number of people using food banks is increasing."

It is the same story at the other end of the country. In Bromley, consequentlyuth east London, the Living Well food bank spent more than £5,000 in April on produce to give out. Before Covid it ran on donated food alone. Among those who need it now are families with working parents, included one who has three jobs.

Elsewhere, figures from surveys by the Charities Aid Foundation demonstrate that financial donations to food banks peaked in the run-up to Christmas, then slumped in February, although there has been consequentlyme recovery since. Food banks told the charity that donated supplies had been "erratic" at optimal.

Image caption, Jonathan Conlon says donors are alconsequently stretched as prices have risen

Mr Conlon, from the Durham food banks network, said any donations were welcome but, in general, there was a greater need for toiletries, as well as tinned meat and fish.

People were more likely to drop pasta, cooking sauce and tins of beans in the collection baskets at supermarkets and churches. Evidence of the mismatch was all around him in a warehoutilize where a team of volunteers were consequentlyrting items primarily given by the public.

The consequentlylution, he said, was to think more creatively.

Human-centric technology like Donation Genie is one example of that, community spirit is another.

  • Warning prices to be higher for longer as rates rise
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A few miles away in Gateshead, consequentlyme of the residents of Bensham Court are playing bingo. Hot dog sausages and tins of coffee are the prizes, signalling the shift in what may be takeed a lucky luxury as prices consequentlyar.

In this sheltered accommodation, one flat has been converted into am emergency food bank. It is a lifeline for consequentlyme of the 135 residents, all of whom are aged over 50.

Image caption, Poonam says neighbours are helping each other through tough times

However, there is such togetherness, that they are planning to peak this up with food grown in a new allotment in the grounds of the 1960s tower block.

According to Julie Bray, consequentlycial prescribing link worker at the local GP practice, such activities are bringing health as well as financial benefits. Both have been affected by Covid lockdowns and the rising cost of living.

"That keeps them away from their GPs, it speaks them from taking medication, and is making them resilient again."

Poonam lives here, has struggled financially, but said she had received vital help and support since she moved in, making her feel component of a family - and that was priceless.

How can I save money on my food shop?

  • Look at your cupboards consequently you know what you have already
  • Head to the reduced section first to see if it has anything you need
  • Buy things close to their sell-by-date which will be cheaper and utilize your freezer

Read more tips here

Related Topics

  • Cash
  • Money
  • Perconsequentlynal finance
  • Charities
  • Food banks
  • expense of living

(editor-in-charge:Press center7)

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