Through our Food Power programme, we have been helping young people in Lancashire to speak out about their experiences of going hungry. They are now about to launch their own campaign: #DarwengetsHangry!
On Friday 19 October between 11 and 4pm, they will launch their campaign at their school, Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio – with the support of Blackburn with Darwen Food Alliance and Darwen Vale & Nightsafe.
The day will feature speakers, including Lucy Antal of Feedback Global and young experts with lived experience of food poverty. There will also be workshops from Aaron Dunleavy, award winning local film-maker, and Matt Sowerby, End Hunger UK Poetry Challenge Winner, along with a performance of his winning poem ‘Breadlines’.
This will be an opportunity for all those interested in food and the wellbeing of young people – 40% of whom are growing up in child poverty in Blackburn with Darwen – to have conversations about what great food looks like, and how difficult it is to get the food we like and want. What happens when young people become ‘hangry’ and what impact does this have on their lives? What can we all do to create a fairer, more democratic food environment, in which everyone has choice and can thrive?
The campaign is a result of young people’s involvement as experts by experience, as part of the Food Power movement, a national programme run by Church Action on Poverty and Sustain which aims to tackle food poverty through people-powered change. Those involved have already contributed towards the Children’s Future Food Inquiry, along with numerous other local and national activities; later this month they will attend the End Hunger UK conference in Westminster to share their experiences and have their views heard. They also made this video:
Ben Pearson, Food Power Empowerment Programme Officer, said:
“Having worked with the group of young people now for the last 10 months, I’m both humbled and incredibly proud of their achievements and growing confidence; it’s now really exciting to see them developing their own campaign. Young people have a right to be angry, their adversities shouldn’t shape their lives but too often do; those most vulnerable too often disempowered. I’m confident this campaign will empower young people, channelling their energy in a positive direction, amplifying their voices and raising awareness of the issues.”
Gillian Beeley, from Together Lancashire, who co-chairs the Eat Well strategy group for BwD Public Health Directorate, said:
“Children have only one childhood, and we need to make sure that they are not affected by adult policies and choices to the extent that they go hungry and are malnourished.”
The day will also see the official launch of Aaron Dunleavy’s short film which hears from young people about their experiences of food poverty. Following a screening at the End Hunger UK conference on 16 October, it will be shown both at the start of the day prior to speakers and workshops, and also as part of Darwen International Arts & Film Festival which takes place at Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio from 7pm to 10pm on the same day.