Britain's King Charles celebrates his 75th birthday on Tuesday. He will use the occasion to officially launch the Coronation Food Project to tackle food poverty and reduce waste.
With his wife, Queen Camilla, Charles is going to spend his birthday visiting a surplus food distribution center. He will also meet with major British supermarkets to see how his project can help redistribute food that would otherwise go to waste.
Charles, who held a celebratory event for other individuals and organizations also turning 75 on Monday, will also host a reception on Tuesday to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives as part of events marking 75 years of the National Health Service.
What has Charles said about the project?
The Coronation Food Project, which aims to stop people going hungry, has already been announced in The Big Issue magazine, which is usually sold by street vendors, many of whom are homeless.
In his article for the magazine, the King wrote: "For many years, I have been deeply concerned about the amount of food which goes to waste across our nation. At every stage of the food production process, millions of tonnes of food are sadly discarded."
"Food need is as real and urgent a problem as food waste — and if a way could be found to bridge the gap between them, then it would address two problems in one," Charles said.
"It is my great hope that this Coronation Food Project will find practical ways to do just that — rescuing more surplus food, and distributing it to those who need it most," he added.
Food insecurity in Britain
According to the project, 14 million people in Britain face food insecurity, and the rising cost of living has pushed even more into food poverty. Charities say there has been a 38% rise in those using food banks for the first time in the year to March 2023.
The Coronation Food Project aims to support the delivery of 200 million meals to people experiencing food insecurity in the UK.
King Charles's own history with The Big Issue goes back decades. He opened a magazine's office not long after the organization was founded in the 1990s.
Charles's son, the Prince of Wales, William, sold The Big Issue undercover last year and also appeared on the cover to mark his 40th birthday.
dh/msh (AFP, Reuters)