Eat or heat? Record numbers face food and fuel poverty and seek help from Perennial

Perennial’s virtual Christmas gifts help feed and care for those in need

This winter as food poverty hits record levels and energy price hikes leave people unable to afford their utility bills, a growing number of people will have to make the grim choice of whether to heat or eat. Perennial, the only UK charity that looks after people working in horticulture and their families, delivers front line services to people living on the breadline. This year so far Perennial has increased its one off grants to help people on low incomes by 32% and given out 15% more in grants to cover day-to day living costs compared to the same period last year.

Given the reported shortages faced by food banks, earlier this year Perennial introduced grocery vouchers and demand for these has grown rapidly. Perennial has also given out around £34,000 in winter fuel payments already this year and expects demand to rise over the next few months as the weather gets colder and people who have to buy their fuel upfront simply can’t afford it.

Sheila Thomson, Director of Services at Perennial comments:

“A growing number of horticulturists on low incomes are feeling the strain as the amount of money they have to live on is squeezed by rising food and energy prices, salary freezes and tightened benefit criteria. As they face a winter, struggling to put food on the table and heat their homes, Perennial offers a lifeline. We will continue to make these services available to those who need them most, but in order to do this we rely on donations from the horticulture industry and the public. As the festive season approaches, what better way to show support than buying a Christmas gift that will help a family in need?”

For the first time this year, as part of its Christmas gift range, Perennial is offering ‘gifts that transform lives’. A great idea to buy for someone who has everything, one of these virtual gifts supports Perennial’s work in caring for those who need help. £25 provides hot meals for an elderly person for a week and £100 provides a month’s heating for someone who cannot afford to buy their own oil, gas or coal.

To purchase a Perennial virtual Christmas gift that will make a difference to the life of someone in need visit: or call 0845 676 0640