Strong Roots Nicola Adams

Plant-based frozen food company Strong Roots has launched a Veg Amnesty to help fight what it calls ‘veg poverty’ in the UK.

From 19 July households across Britain are being invited to donate surplus frozen veg to neighbouring in-need households. The initiative comes as research shows that up to nine million UK households have forgotten food in their freezers after stocking up during the various lockdowns over the past 18 months.

The Veg Amnesty comes as 6.5 million families in the UK are living in so-called veg poverty, defined by Strong Roots as the inability to afford or access the government’s recommended five portions of fruit and veg per day.

There are fears that veg poverty could worsen further as more people continue to be reliant on food banks and the government’s Job Retention Scheme closes at the end of September.

The Veg Amnesty marks the second phase of Strong Roots’ social mission to ‘Make Veg Poverty History’. The campaign launched in January this year when the company opened the first dedicated Frozen Veggie Food Bank in central London, while also donating freezers and thousands of meals to food banks around the UK in areas where deprivation is high.

Strong Roots ambassador for Make Veg Poverty History, boxer Nicola Adams, is supporting the Veg Amnesty. She stars in a short, light-hearted film shot in her home city of Leeds, where she can be seen drumming up support from veg-wielding locals as she runs through the city.

Now, the company is partnering with Olio, the free-sharing app for the Veg Amnesty which allows neighbour-to-neighbour donations via the app.

Adams said: “We had a lot of fun making the film highlighting a serious issue close to my heart and in my home town too. I am passionate about the power of good nutritious food. Eating right is something everyone should be able to do no matter their situation, so I hope it inspires people to get involved in the Veg Amnesty and join our mission.”

Strong Roots chief executive Samuel Dennigan added: “We all bought too much in lockdown, so anyone with surplus frozen veg in their freezer can dig it out rather than waste it. By using the free sharing app Olio people can simply give it to someone on their street or in their community who might need it. Something so simple can really help the fight to end veg poverty in the UK”.