Many of Church Action on Poverty’s supporters raised funds for our work – and raised awareness of the UK’s growing hunger crisis – by taking part in a Lenten Fast this year. One anonymous supporter shared this reflection on their fast.
At an event organised by Church Action on Poverty, I read that they were encouraging people to raise funds for them by doing a three-day sponsored fast during Holy Week- eating only the type of food one would get from a Trussell Trust food bank, based on a budget of £2.50 a day and providing a list of typical foods. I decided to go along with the idea!
In a sense the activities around the fast were the most difficult part. Shopping for three days with £7.50 and keeping to the type of food suggested took some time. I was constantly doing sums in my head, putting items into the basket, only to remove them later and replace them with something cheaper. It seemed to take ages and I became aware that CCTV may be tracking me!
What was even worse, embarrassing, was making it public – but I needed to do so if I was to both raise awareness and get some money for Church Action on Poverty.
As for the fast, I found it easy except for breakfast time. I usually have a piece of fruit with cereal but because the money didn’t stretch to fruit and the cereal was the cheapest available, I was hungry by mid morning.
So far I had been doing all the giving; it was only as I ate my next traditional meal that I experienced this great sense of gratitude for what I had, the need to eat in moderation and a desire to continue being mindful of those people who are always on a limited diet.
As time has gone by I am happy to think that the fast wasn’t just an event, over in three days, but that its memory lives on, causing me to make regular gestures of solidarity with people who are poor, hungry and needy – and also happy to have raised £200 for Church Action on Poverty who work to address the root causes of poverty.