Source: Sainsbury’s

Yrsa Daley-Ward met with members of the Bonny Downs Food Club in London

A new campaign involving Sainsbury’s will use spoken word poetry to highlight the social barriers that can prevent people living in food poverty from accessing support.

Despite the fact that millions of people in the UK are at risk of not having access to enough food, research commissioned by the supermarket found that many find it difficult to access help, or will actively avoid asking out of fear they’ll be stigmatised for doing so.

Of the 2,000 UK adults surveyed, 70% of those considered as in need of support services said they avoided using them due to feeling judged. Some 67% said they felt ashamed, with 30% saying they felt embarrassed about having to rely on help.

As part of its Nourish The Nation charity partnership with Comic Relief, Sainsbury’s has partnered with spoken word poet Yrsa Daley-Ward, to launch a new promotional video based on accounts of people who use one of the food clubs funded by the charity.

Daley-Ward interviewed members of the Bonny Downs Food Club in East Ham, London, and has written a series of poems based on their accounts. The supermarket has released the video on its social media channels.

“It was a privilege to hear the real, personal experiences of those at the Bonny Downs Food Club – their openness allowed me to create authentic poems about the experiences of those facing food poverty,” said Daley-Ward.

“Witnessing the sense of community a food club provides its users, it’s evident that these services and hubs offer a place of comfort and friendship, outside of just groceries. I hope the poems do justice to the real conversations that inspired them and help to highlight the vital support food clubs provide.”

Sainsbury’s raises funds for Nourish the Nation via its stores and online sales, with customers also able to donate via it’s Nectar app, and the Comic Relief website. The supermarket has raised £9.2m in the last year via the campaign.

“Millions of people are struggling to access enough nutritious food for themselves and their families, and their stories are often going unheard,” said Ruth Cranston, Sainsbury’s director of corporate responsibility and sustainability.

“That’s why we’ve worked with Yrsa Daley-Ward, to bring to life their lived experiences in a really powerful way, helping to raise awareness of the critical food poverty issue in the UK, and some of the great support services, like food clubs, happening in communities around us.

Cranston added: “By working with Comic Relief and charities such as Feeding Britain, we can make a real difference in the fight against food poverty, and we encourage our customers to join us by donating what they can to help drive long-lasting change.”