Sport Relief raised over £51m last night - which was fantastic
It also raised the awareness of needs here in UK - one of which is the number of people who go hungry.
I've heard all sorts of arguments for and against food banks, but the fact is that they are used by some very needy people - particularly those who fall through the net when benefits end and people face dire need.
I'm not raising this as a debate today. I am however reporting on one venture in Birmingham that draws attention to the increasing number of those who go hungry.
The Bishop of Birmingham, the Lord and Lady Mayoress, faith leaders, food bank representatives and community groups came together on Ash Wednesday (5th March) to open a ‘Hunger Hut’ in Cathedral Square as the focus for the End Hunger Fast campaign. As well as launching the Hunger Hut as a place of prayer, awareness-raising and fundraising, hunger journals have been given to foodbank representatives to collect stories of food poverty alongside stories of those fasting during Lent.
On Thursday I helped my friend Sarah to mann the information table and the hut for a couple of hours. We had some very interesting conversations with people who stopped to find out more. The stories recorded in the hunger journal at the Hunger Hut made grim reading.
v1 is part of an open letter written by Bishops and Christian leaders and sent to the Government calling for action on behalf of people who did not have enough to eat in this country.I have layered over it a sentence from the letter.
v2 is more detail from the letter layered over part of the writing on the hut. The hut itself draws people's attention even at night - as it clearly gets moved about, and volunteers are never quite sure where they will find it the next morning
v3 is the hut
v4 is my friend Sarah, tidying up leaflets after the wind blew over the table and the they flew everywhere
A national day of fasting is being held on April 4th and on April 16th campaigners will take the hunger journals to London to present to MPs.
Thanks for looking and I hope you all have a good weekend