There is a lot of hidden hunger in the UK. Here at Twickenham our community were shocked to find out that a recent United Nations Report in 2016 estimated 8.4 million people here in the UK were struggling to put food on the table.
Often this means choosing between heating and eating, or working parents missing meals so that the kids can eat, or simply not having enough. Recently one of the students at St Mary’s confessed he regularly missed having any lunch as money was tight. He was delighted to come to our celebration lunch in honour of St Marie Eugenie. There is hidden hunger in unexpected places.
Many people are giving time, effort and food to food banks which are doing great work alleviating hunger for many who are struggling, as well as offering a caring atmosphere, solidarity, a safe space and personal support. But the problem is growing, it is not enough, the situation is worsening. In response a campaign has been launched, #endhungeruk. Many organisations have come together, the Trussell trust, Church Action on Poverty, Fareshare, Child action Poverty group, to name but a few. They aim to get people together to talk about the situation, `the Big Conversation’, to come up with ideas to alleviate it, then to be in touch with policy makers, MPs and the Press to end this scandal.
Did we know our government made a binding commitment under international human rights law in 1976, to secure the human right to adequate food for every child, woman and man in the UK? Well, it is not really happening as benefit sanctions and delays in welfare payments force people so often to go to food banks. In the meantime surplus food from supermarkets is thrown away to land fill (about 3% is given away it is thought).
We got involved, talked about it and gave our ideas written on a paper plate to our MP. Let us hope enough people join together, make our voices heard and help to end hunger in the UK for good.
Check out the website for the campaign: www.endhungeruk.org
Sr Jessica r.a.
it’s heavy heart and heavy legs.
It’s sore skin and hollow eyes.
It’s upset and downhearted.
It’s hunger, Malnourishment.
It’s always thinking about the next meal.
Poverty is bailiffs, it’s food banks. It’s queues and lists,
it’s never being told what you are entitled to but always being told.
Poverty is being shown up and then put down.
It’s missed payments and mistrust.
It’s always answering questions but never answering the door.
Poverty is hiding in plain view. It’s hiding………
(taken from `Poverty is many things’ written by a group from Salford. Church Action on Poverty Newsletter winter 2017)
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