As you know, for many years, Boaz supporters have used the Lent season to pause, reflect and try to imagine how different life would be without the luxury of being able to go and buy the food we need and enjoy each week. This year, some of the team from our Heaton Park Night Shelter took up the Lent Food Parcel Challenge, living on the equivalent of a food parcel from a local destitution project. We just heard last week that through online and offline donations and including gift aid, they have raised an incredible £1000! This is absolutely amazing and we are so grateful to everyone who has supported them!
However it wasn't just the team from Heaton Park who took up the challenge this year! One of our staff members also decided to get involved, completing a week of living on a Red Cross food parcel at the end of Lent. She used the Lent Challenge as an opportunity for awareness-raising and had some interesting conversations as a result. Some people she spoke to were shocked that organisations like the Red Cross give out food parcels to destitute people here in the UK. Others were surprised to hear that the people we work with aren't able to work or claim benefits and therefore have absolutely no money with which to buy food- these food parcels aren't a top-up or a stop gap for a few days or weeks.
Reflecting on her experience, she said "I was pleasantly surprised that my energy levels weren't as low as I'd feared - the ingredients must be more nutritious than they are interesting! - but I did find the lack of variety really hard. A meal of a portion of rice with 1/3 of a tin of peas is not much to look forward to at the end of the day. The biggest hardship, though, was the only fresh ingredients all week being 1 onion, 2 potatoes and 3 items of fruit."
This experience highlighted once again how valuable our regular monthly Free Shop is, providing a much needed top up of fresh eggs, fruit and vegetables as well as additional variety through the diverse range of donations we receive each month.
We would love to be able to continue to provide fresh, nutritious food at our Free Shop. We know that healthy food can impact mental health as well as physical well being. Please could you consider making a donation to our special Free Shop Food so that we can continue to provide fruit and vegetables?
Thank you so much for your kind support.