The Chancellor says the economy is on the mend, but prices are rising and this winter many families are struggling to put on the table.

Traditionally, harvest-festival collections at schools and in churches have raised aid for those living in poverty in far-flung lands: Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Malawi. This year, however, many donated their collections straight back into their communities.

Britain’s economy is finally growing again. But one in five Britons lives below the poverty line (despite the fact we are the world’s sixth largest economy) and many are finding it harder than ever to put food on the table.

There are currently more than 400 Trussell Trust food banks across the UK and more are opening, at a rate of three per week. The latest figures show that 355,985 people received a minimum of three days’ emergency food from the banks between April to September this year – that’s triple the number helped in the same period last year. And as 2014 dawns, things will only get worse, says Trussell Trust’s executive chairman Chris Mould. Continue reading

The Turkeys that Dodged Christmas

It’s not the best time of year to be a turkey – but what happens to the birds (such as Tommy and Miss McFeathers) that make a brave bid for freedom?

More than 10 million turkeys are sold in the UK over Christmas, and 76 per cent of us will be tucking into one on Christmas Day. Britain’s biggest turkey producer, Bernard Matthews, reportedly processes 50,000 every day in the runup to the festivities.

But occasionally a plucky bird stages a great escape. Wendy Valentine is the founder of Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Frettenham, Norwich – currently home to 20 such birds.

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