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Jay Rayner Joins as Patron for The Food Chain

Jay Rayner, restaurant critic, writer and broadcaster, was announced as patron of The Food Chain today. He spent lunchtime with us at Eating Together meeting some of the people who currently benefit from our services.

Jay first supported The Food Chain when he spoke at our Green Apple Dinner in 2012, and we could not have been happier when he expressed an interest in supporting us on an ongoing basis:
'I am honoured and delighted to be joining The Food Chain as a patron. The charity does extraordinarily important work giving nutritional advice and support to people with HIV, especially in this age of rising food prices. They have been a vital resource for many, many people across our community and I look forward to being able to support and help in whatever way possible.'

Jay Rayner writes for the Observer, where he is a feature writer and restaurant critic. He is also the resident food pundit for The One Show. In 2012 he became the host of the food panel show The Kitchen Cabinet for BBC Radio 4. Born, and living, in London Jay has previously written about the impact of rising living costs on people’s ability to access food. People living with HIV in the capital are being hit particularly hard.

In the lead up to World AIDS Day, 1 December, we have released new figures on the impact of poverty for people living with HIV. We have seen demand for weekly grocery hampers climb 70 per cent compared with average figures last year. Spending on the service has eclipsed 25,000 in three months in the last quarter. This compares with an average monthly spend in 2012 of 14,600.

We know that across the UK more and more people are feeling the effects of poverty in their stomachs, and the rise in the use of food banks is testament to this. For people living with HIV this problem is particularly acute. They often experience greater economic marginalisation and are therefore at greater risk of food poverty. For someone living with HIV lack of food is all the more problematic because good nutrition is a critical part of effectively managing the condition.

As we reach the end of our 25th year having someone as high profile as Jay Rayner to highlight the impact of poverty on those we support will be vital in helping us to meet demand for our services.