The blithe little band of staff who agreed to take part in the 24-hr Fast to mark Poverty Awareness Month have now reached the end of their challenge. And they’ve managed to help raise £275 for The Trussell Trust who operate a network of foodbanks for people experiencing difficulties.
Patricia Currie, Gary Sharp, Gemma Cummins, Josephine Smith, Tracy MacKenzie, Nicki Campbell, Shaun McLaughlin and Lesley Lang would like to thank everyone who has supported this worthy cause and remind people that the JustGiving page is still open for more contributions…!! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gkcfast
Birthdays, Easter Eggs, Bake Sales – all presented obstacles to the intrepid team but they kept their spirits up and their ‘hangry-ness’ at bay by geeing each other along in a witty little support group.
As they’ve all commented, at least fasting was their choice but for many it’s a daily battle. Lack of food affects your mood, your behaviour, your energy levels, your muscles and your attention span. As professionals, it’s something for everyone to bear in mind.
And remember that foodbanks form part of some people’s everyday lives.
So, thanks go to the Fasters and to the people who have sponsored them – well done!
Diary of a Fantastic Faster, Tracy MacKenzie
20.00: Dinner finished no food now for 24 hours. I’m feeling really full right now, so this should be easy, right?
06.30: Good morning! No breakfast for me today so that’s an extra 15 minutes in bed!
07.50: Too many extra minutes in bed, having to run for the bus.
09.00: In work now and I’ve seen a few people who are doing the fast. We’ve got this - as long as we steer clear of the bake sale in the foyer! I hope they raise lots of money for their cause but I won’t be buying cakes today. Or maybe I could get one and keep it for later..? Nope, too tempting.
10.25: Apparently, a lot of people doing the fast are drinking a lot of water. Clearer skin for us all tomorrow then! And a greater demand for bathroom facilities today…
10.45: Some more donations are coming in - woo hoo!! It’s great that people are supporting us and, more importantly, the Trussell Trust.
12.05: OK, if everyone could just stop talking about what they’re having for lunch or wafting it in front of me that would be great. Cheers…
13.00: Usual lunchtime for me except that instead of my usual sandwich I’m having a hot drink instead. Mmmm, filling…
15.20: Time for a mid-afternoon cup of tea. This is the worst time of day as it would be really nice to have a wee biscuit with my tea. Or maybe a scone... I’m starting to feel like Dumbo (original animated film) in the scene where he starts seeing hundreds of elephants dancing about as I’m sure I can see food when I close my eyes.
17.00: Thank goodness I’m getting a lift home tonight. My ability to be calm and patient has been steadily eroded throughout the day and I’m not sure I’d be able to be deal with other commuters (seriously people, move your bag, or did you buy it a ticket too?).
18.00: My wonderful mother-in-law is cooking dinner for the family tonight so I am not tempted to break the fast early. When I thought about dinner it reminded me that not having enough food is not just about being hungry – what about the cost of cooking and storing the food? I once heard someone being interviewed who used foodbanks saying that she hated it when people said to make a big pot of lentil soup as it was cheap and would last her all week. She didn’t have that option as she couldn’t afford the electricity to cook the soup. This has always stuck with me. The immediate issue that we see has many more aspects than we realise.
18.45: I’m off to my usual Wednesday evening activity. I’m really hungry. Hopefully tonight will go smoothly and I can get home to dinner. As I won’t be home until after 21.00 I have armed myself with a cereal bar so when the magic 20.00 comes I can slip away briefly and eat something. 1 hour and 15 minutes to go! Not that I’m counting…
20.03: Best. Cereal bar. EVER.
Today was so hard. I don’t think clearly when I’m hungry and I find it difficult not to snap at people. However, one day cannot compare to what some people in the UK have to go through every day. I planned for this and I did it in the knowledge that it was for one day. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be hungry every day and not to know when that would end. I had food waiting for me when my fast finished but that’s not an option for a lot of people.
Many of our learners come to college hungry and miss meals. That’s hard to do. To borrow a phrase from Snickers “you’re not you when you’re hungry”. How true this is. At certain points today I definitely wasn’t myself and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one fasting who felt like that. I’m glad that my family, friends and colleagues were so supportive.
That’s why wonderful organisations like the Trussell Trust who run foodbanks to help people who are affected by poverty are so important. It’s sad that they’re needed but amazing that people take the time and effort to organise, run, and donate to foodbanks. They make a real difference.