Why do we work with the hospitality industry?
A conversation with Action Against Hunger's Food Related Fundraising team
Jun 1 2017
Action Against Hunger UK is pretty unique. In these headquarters we have a team dedicated to fundraising with chefs, restaurants and the hospitality industry. This relationship has grown hugely over the last 18 years and we now work with with individuals and businesses all over the country. We asked the Food Related Fundraising team why this relationship is so important.
Why do you work for Action Against Hunger?
(Caroline Dyer- Fundraising Campaign Manager)
The main reason I work for Action Against Hunger is because of a keen interest in humanitarian aid and its impact. I specifically work for Action Against Hunger because I feel like we are really working towards something with a very real end goal; to end child hunger. I personally always assumed you had to have a degree in International Development to be part of this or, to be a real help, you had to have a really specific skillset like being a doctor, logistician or engineer. However, to have a real lasting impact, all that work on the ground needs to be funded and so you need a great fundraising department with creative ideas and top supporters to enable this to happen. The Food Related Fundraising department at Action Against Hunger does just this.
I think I can speak on behalf of the whole team when I say you could describe us all as ‘foodies’ (wince!). We all have varied backgrounds in marketing, hospitality and nutrition, business development and events. We use our skills to work with the hospitality industry and in turn, to help fundraise, allowing Action Against Hunger to reach even more people around the world. We all really appreciate and enjoy the food that we are so privileged to have unhindered access to, and we know our supporters feel the same, that's why we work for Action Against Hunger.
Why does Action Against Hunger work with the hospitality industry?
(Rose Petherick- Restaurant Campaign Officer)
People in the UK love to eat out and the hospitality industry is the 4th largest industry in the UK. By working with them we have the opportunity to reach millions of people and to spread the word about what Action Against Hunger does. Our table cards that we use for the Love Food Give Food campaign are seen by over 4 million people every year.
The chefs that we work with often comment on how they feel so privileged to be able to work with food on a daily basis. They say that by working with Action Against Hunger, they have the opportunity to give something back to those who don't know where their next meal is going to come from. In 2016 our Love Food Give Food campaign, which is championed by nearly 400 restaurants around the UK, raised over £450,000.
What do you most enjoy about your role?
(Louisa Hodge- Regional Restaurant Campaign Officer)
I really enjoy going to visit our restaurant supporters and to give staff training sessions. It’s great to meet the people who are championing us in their restaurants and to see their interest in the work that we do. It’s also great when we can explain to staff that it only takes £42 to save the life of a malnourished child, and they can see the huge difference that the money they fundraise makes.
It is the staff in the restaurants who are the faces of our fundraising campaigns and the ones who convey the work that we do to the public. We try to visit as many of our supporters as possible and last year visited over 100 of the restaurants we work with. This means that the staff are fully informed and engaged with the work that we do and are comfortable telling their customers why they have chosen to support Action Against Hunger.
It’s so great to see the things that restaurants do above and beyond taking part in the Love Food Give Food campaign. As well as being the spokespeople for our cause, both in the restaurant and on social media, they hold events for us such as networking evenings and breakfast meetings, and fundraising events such as one off dinners or special promotions. Staff also take part in challenge events for us to fundraise - for example running marathons, trekking the Himalayas or taking part in Tough Mudder.
What aspects of your job do you find most challenging?
(Zawadi Phillimore- Food Campaigns Officer)
It is simply through good fortune that we live in country where we have plentiful access to food. We are acutely aware of the differences between our own experiences of food and the experiences of those who Action Against Hunger works with around the world. The job that we do centres around the celebration of food. In an ideal world we would all have equal access to food and this is what we are striving to achieve through the work that we do. Through the relationships that we are able to forge with chefs, restaurateurs, bloggers and PR people, we are able to raise large amounts of money to support the work that Action Against Hunger does in nearly 50 countries worldwide.
What have you seen of the work that Action Against Hunger does that has been most rewarding?
(Emma Cullingford- Head of Food Related Fundraising)
Action Against Hunger is very transparent on how it’s money is spent, 87pence from every £1 goes directly to our projects around the world. In 2013 I was lucky enough to visit our country projects in Liberia and in 2017 visited Lebanon to see our work with Syrian refugees alongside Hawksmoor restaurants.
In Liberia it was great to see the integration between the immediate life-saving treatment and long term sustainable solutions to hunger. We met a woman called Martu who was growing cabbages in her garden that we’d helped her set up, both to feed her family and to sell at the market as a source of income. She said she first got involved with Action Against Hunger when we saved the life of her malnourished grandson.
Being in Lebanon reaffirmed how amazing our staff are. They are all so dedicated and passionate about our work and they build up such trust with our beneficiaries. We saw the breadth of Action Against Hunger’s work, from nutrition programmes and breast feeding awareness sessions to providing access to clean water & sanitation, food security and livelihoods. The situation with the Syria crisis is dire but Action against hunger is there making a real impact.
Click here to find out more about how you can support Action Against Hunger and the Love Food Give Food campaign.
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