“Everything that Boaz has done for me is important. Accommodation is the most important thing, but food is also the most important thing as we need food as human beings to live.” - Lizi, a former Boaz client.
For many years at Boaz we have challenged our supporters to consider living on a food parcel for a week (or longer), to raise awareness and understanding of just some of the challenges faced by people seeking asylum - many of our clients are not allowed to work or claim benefits and so are often dependent on charity food parcels. Some supporters have been sponsored by friends or family to complete the challenge. Others have chosen to use the challenge to raise awareness of asylum destitution, while others have chosen to live on the parcel for a week and then donate the money they would normally spend on their weekly food shop to Boaz.
Supporters, volunteers and staff have all carried out this challenge over the years, raising awareness and hundreds of pounds in the process. It isn’t easy - and that’s when you try it for just one week! Last year some of our night shelter volunteers took on the challenge - you can read about how they got on by clicking here.
What’s in a destitution project food parcel?
A food parcel usually contains the following items:
|1 orange||1 apple|
|1 banana||2 potatoes|
|1 onion||1 tin of garden peas|
|1 tin of spaghetti||1 tin of plum tomatoes|
|1 tin of baked beans||1 tin of sweetcorn|
|1 small tin of tuna||1 small tin of sardines|
|1 loaf of white or brown bread||Small pack of pasta OR spaghetti|
|250g long grain white rice||250g sugar (1 x month)|
|Vegetable Oil (1 x month)||250g salt (1 x month)|
|1 litre of apple OR orange juice||12 tea bags|
|1 litre of UHT long-life milk||1 pack ginger or choc chip biscuits|
Items like sugar, salt and cooking oil are usually available once a month and there may also be occasional extras if the project receives additional donations. Having seen the contents of the parcel you may be understandably concerned about how people manage. It is certainly not easy and we believe people shouldn’t have to depend on food parcels like this. The people we work with have shared how they might share their food with friends and where possible supplement their food parcel by accessing free meals provided by local organisations and faith groups. We also hold a monthly Free Shop where our clients can access more food supplies (and toiletries).
If you’d like to try the Lent Challenge, then please go ahead! Take the list to your local shop and try and buy everything. We priced it up at one of the major supermarkets and it came in just below £9.
If you’d like to set up an online giving page so that people can support you, please click here and follow the instructions.
If you have any other questions- please drop Tim an email to [email protected], putting Lent Challenge in the subject box. You can let us know how you’re getting on social media using #boazlentchallenge
Please note - if you have any health or dietary concerns at all, we strongly recommend you to speak to your doctor before undertaking this challenge.