We are thrilled to announce that our two millionth Rose Voucher has now been spent! We’ve been bursting at the seams trying to keep this news a secret for the past few weeks as we’ve been desperate to celebrate.
Since 2014, Rose Vouchers have supported 9,351 families and 17,380 children to access fresh fruit and veg distributed from 66 different children’s centres and community organisations and spent with 58 different market traders and greengrocers.
To celebrate this exciting milestone, we will be hosting an event in Barnsley on Friday 26th May. Local families and market traders, as well as the charity’s funders and key dignitaries, will attend.
“We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last nine years. We started small by testing the Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg Project in local communities in London. As news spread of its effectiveness at combating food poverty and promoting healthier diets, we received requests from locations across the UK to expand the project.
It took us seven years to get to one million vouchers but only 18 months to get to our second million. This shows how quickly the project has grown to meet rising demand, but also, sadly, it is evidence of the impact of both COVID-19 and the cost-of-living crisis on families on low incomes across the UK.
Demand for our work still outstrips our capacity, and although we celebrate this milestone, we continue to worry about the huge challenges families face up and down the country. We will continue to collaborate with our brilliant local partners to make sure as many families as possible can have access to healthy, fresh fruit and veg in their local communities.
We are delighted to have reached this milestone and grateful to all of our partners and supporters who have helped us get here. You have been with us every step of the way. Thank you for your ongoing support in our mission to alleviate health inequalities and food poverty.”
Henry Dimbleby, Author of The National Food Strategy, former Lead Non-Executive Director at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and co-founder of Leon, Chefs in Schools, and the Sustainable Restaurant Association, said:
“This milestone is a terrific achievement from Alexandra Rose Charity. Everyone should have access to healthy and affordable food, but right now, that’s incredibly hard. The rising cost of living, low-paid, unstable jobs, and a food environment flooded with junk food, means more and more people are struggling with food poverty and diet-related disease.
Calories from unhealthy food are three times cheaper than healthy alternatives, so it makes sense that people will prioritise being full rather than being healthy, but this only stores up health problems for the future.
Alexandra Rose Charity’s programmes are vital because they enable people, who otherwise would not be able to afford it, to buy the fresh fruit and veg of their choice every week, giving them the spending power to eat healthily. I hope that in due course, this becomes an entitlement for anyone living in poverty.”
We spoke to a mum from Barnsley who has received Rose Vouchers, she said:
“Having Rose Vouchers has changed how I do things. Instead of saying, “I can microwave this or put it in the oven”, I cook more from scratch. I get my son more involved with making meals too.
I buy more variety of fruit and veg now I have the vouchers. Seeing all the fruit & veg displayed nicely lets me see what I want to try. I can offer my son different fruit and veg to try and see what he likes. Rose Vouchers have been a lifesaver.”Rachel, mum receiving Rose Vouchers
Carly Speechley, Executive Director of Children’s Services at Barnsley Council, said:
“We are delighted to host the celebration of this milestone. Rose Vouchers provide a real support for Barnsley families to adopt healthier lifestyles in the crucial years before school begins.
We want Barnsley to be the place of possibilities and giving children the healthiest possible start is part of helping them to lead productive and happy lives in the future.
In times of need, it’s important that people can get additional support at the right time and in the right place. At a time where many families are facing financial challenges due to the rising cost of living, Rose Vouchers are a valued part of the local and national support we are promoting through our More Money in your Pocket campaign.”
We couldn’t have hit this incredible milestone without the help of our supporters, partners and funders over the years, so a big thank you to everyone that has stood with us and made such a big difference to the families we work with.