World Food Day: Give It Up

world food day

I've talked before about how lifestyle blogs are so often apolitical for fear of offending readers with opposing views. I thought twice about posting this in its entirety, but decided that you read this blog to hear what I say (if you do in fact read this blog with any regularity) and so there's no reason to shy away.

This is a food blog; I write regularly about how to make delicious meals. They often don't come cheap: the ingredients for a big batch of brownies can be close to a tenner, if not more if I'm being super fancy with them. I understand that puts me in a very, very lucky position. Food is political, so much so, and despite the relative twee-ness of this blog, I don't want to ignore that.

Especially not on today of all days: World Food Day.

As a World Food Day initiative, The Trussell Trust - who run many of the UK's food banks - are asking you to Give It Up. Whether it's a daily drink from Starbucks (guilty), a chocolate bar for a mid-afternoon sugar rush, a cheeky after work beer - today, they want you to give it up and donate the money instead to them. They'll be using that money to help stop UK hunger - and I can't think of many better causes than that.

Food banks are an emotive cause for me; when I read stories of those who have been pushed into using these services by government spending cuts and bureaucratic ineptitude, it breaks my heart. We call ourselves a civilised nation and yet 15,000 people a week are using Trussell Trust foodbanks, with 1 in 5 mums regularly skipping meals to feed their children. This isn't the war, this is 2013. That is so not okay.

This isn't happening is some far-off-distant land. There are over 30,000 children in Leeds alone who are living belong the poverty line. I cannot possibly express the amount of anger and sadness that causes for me. And don't get me started on the way people who are living below the breadline are then portrayed in the media. I can't even. If I never have to hear the term 'benefit scroungers' again, I will die a happy woman.

I can never write with as much eloquence on the matter as A Girl Called Jack, whose blog I cannot recommend highly enough for both the well-written political pieces and the delicious, cheap recipes (two of my favourite things), but I hope this post made you think a little harder and maybe dig a little deeper.

I know it's not as simple as donating a few pounds and hoping that the whole sorry mess goes away - although it would be nice if it did. It makes me feel a bit better though; I cannot personally cook a meal for every one of the people going hungry in this country but by donating some money then I might be able to help a few.

If you want to learn more about The Trussell Trust and maybe donate the cost of your daily coffee, you can visit their website.

And we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow...