King Charles is Big Issue cover star with food project


King Charles is going to be the cover star of the Big Issue magazine, which helps the homeless, to mark his 75th birthday next week.

The King will highlight his Coronation Food Project, to be officially launched on his birthday on 14 November.

It aims to help those in need of food, while at the same time reducing surplus food being thrown away.

"Food need is as real and urgent a problem as food waste," King Charles will say in the Big Issue.

Emphasising the idea of a public service monarchy, the food project will be a big theme of the King's birthday celebrations.


It wants to address the growing problem of those who cannot afford food, at the same time as tackling the widespread waste of perfectly good food.

"If a way could be found to bridge the gap between them, then it would address two problems in one," the King tells the Big Issue, in an edition to be published on Monday.

"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."

The project says there are 14 million people in the UK facing food insecurity, with food banks warning of rising demand.


The Trussell Trust charity said this week that 1.5 million emergency food parcels were given to people by its food banks between April and September 2023, a 16% increase on last year. Almost two-thirds of these were for families with children.

But alongside this growing need, millions of tonnes of food are thrown away unused, so the project aims to bring together supermarkets, farmers and distributors to save more of the food that otherwise might be discarded.

There are already 8,500 local charities trying to share surplus food, and the Coronation Food Project wants to set up regional distribution hubs to make this a more effective network.


Baroness Louise Casey, co-chair of the project, says: "Too many people in the UK are living in poverty and going hungry. At the same time, we are wasting too much food on farms, in manufacturing and across the food industry."

The King will be 75 years old next Tuesday, and on Monday he will share a party in Highgrove in Gloucestershire with other people or organisations who are 75 this year.

On the day of his birthday, the King is hosting a reception for nurses and midwives as part of the NHS 75th anniversary celebrations.


The Royal Mint has produced a commemorative coin to mark the birthday, which for the first time uses silver recycled from medical and industrial X-ray film.

With the King now into the second year of his reign, the names of his charities are also changing - such as the Prince's Trust becoming the King's Trust and the Prince's Foundation becoming the King's Foundation.

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