Christmas food expense leaves two in three Britons fearing cost of festivities

Two in three Britons have been left fearing the cost of Christmas staples with 44 percent scrambling to budget better by using cash instead of electronic banking. 

Research carried out by the Post Office found that 61 percent of people are worried about the expense of putting food on the table this Christmas season amid the cost-of-living crisis, a rise of 16 percent on last year’s research.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults found that Britons’ biggest worries this year are the cost of presents, with 43 percent saying they are worried about that expense.

Energy bills were also a factor, with 40 percent fearing the cost of their incoming charge. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of those surveyed have slashed spending on food essentials to compensate for the overall expense of Christmas.

Thirty-two percent of those surveyed said that this year their Christmas dinner will be smaller than previous years as Britons are 61 percent more conscious of cash they splash on food in 2023.

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For households facing poverty and needing the support of food banks like those in the Trussell Trust network, the situation is even harder as even the essentials are unaffordable. 

Post Office has partnered with the Trussell Trust for the third consecutive year, with the aim of reaching £1 million this winter, as an accumulation over three years to help the charity support families in need

For every withdrawal made at Post Office, 1p will go towards helping people who are being supported by the Trussell Trust

With cost-of-living pressures continuing, more people are looking to find ways to budget this winter, 23% of people in the UK intend to take cash out weekly to help them budget, with one in five (20%) stating that they have been saving for the season since the beginning of the year.

The partnership runs from now until 31st March 2024, and means that for every cash withdrawal made over the counter in a Post Office, the Post Office will contribute 1p to the Trussell Trust. 

Last year, the partnership, which spotlights Post Office’s Everyday Banking Services, raised almost £340,000 for the charity, bringing the total for the first two years to £630,000. This year, Post Office is looking to go a step further, aiming to raise over £366,000, which would take the total raised over three years to £1 million,

The Trussell Trust has reported that 320,000 people have needed to use a food bank for the first time in the past six months as more people in the UK are unable to afford essential items. The Trussell Trust expects that food banks in its network will distribute more than a million emergency food parcels between December 2023 and February 2024 – the equivalent of providing a parcel every eight seconds this winter. This is an increase on last year with just over 900,000 food parcels being distributed in the same time frame. 

Nick Read, Chief Executive at Post Office, said: “Post Office recognises this can be a hard time of the year for some people to be able to afford everything that comes along with the annual festivities. That’s why it is important for us to support the Trussell Trust through this annual campaign, which will see 1p given to the charity for every over-the-counter cash withdrawal, allowing our customers to make a meaningful difference to those facing a particularly difficult winter.

“Post Offices play a crucial role in local communities, helping people access financial support as well as enabling people to withdraw cash to help manage their budgets and pay their bills using cash.

“The funds generated by customers’ support for the campaign over the years have provided grant funding for food banks to carry on their brilliant work handing out close to 3 million food supplies to people in crisis in the last year. This year we want to raise over £360k – taking the total amount raised to over £1 million in three years – and help make an even bigger difference to people in our communities who need our help.”  

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Emma Revie, CEO at Trussell Trust said: “The support provided by the Post Office is invaluable to the food banks in our network, especially as they are expecting to distribute more than 1 million parcels between December and February.

“Our teams across the UK are working tirelessly to ensure help continues to be available but, ultimately, nobody should need to turn to a food bank as everyone should have enough money for the essentials.

“We’re very grateful to the Post Office and their customers who each year have raised even more to support our network. This donation will help continue to provide emergency support to people who cannot afford the essentials, while we work together in the long term to build a country without the need for food banks.”


Jonathan Conlon, warehouse and distribution manager at the Trussell Trust County Durham and Sunderland Foodbank, said: “The Post Office campaign and the funds generated by it last year truly made a significant difference. We hope that people get behind this year’s campaign so that foodbanks like ours can continue to support those in our community facing food crisis.”

Postmaster of St. Paul’s Road, Smethwick, Post Office said: “I’m proud to be a part Post Office’s continued campaign with the Trussell Trust which customers can easily be a part of simply by taking out their usual cash withdrawal. Our Post Office sits at the heart of our community and we often donate to local food banks too as we appreciate the growing need there is to help people who are struggling to put food on the table in the Smethwick area.”

Post Office sits at the heart of communities throughout the UK. Alongside the £1 million fund goal this year, some Postmasters and Post Office branches are supporting the partnership by hosting food bank collection services to support the local communities they operate in.

To find out more about the partnership, visit here.

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