In May 2014, the ‘Feed a Friend’ conference took place in Clitheroe, Lancashire. The conference was all about food poverty, here and abroad.
Food poverty is an issue which affects all communities. With the rise in the use of food banks in the UK, it has become clear that this is a problem which cannot be ignored. Recently published research from DEFRA adds weight to claims of bodies like the Trussell Trust; that food poverty is a real issue in the UK.
In this conference we heard from the manager of the Ribble Valley Food Bank about the kinds of issues presented in the first year of operation. We then heard from representatives of the Solomon Project, CAFOD and Christian Aid. These speakers reminded us about the issue of global food poverty, and made links between the UK picture and the global problem. As we start Christian Aid week, what is the relationship between the people who are hungry in Lancashire and the people who are hungry in the developing world?
A thread that ran through the conference was neatly summarised in this quote from Desmond Tutu:
There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.
The conference was organised by the ecumenical group of Christians in Clitheroe, Clitheroe Christians in Partnership (CCP) and the Christian Aid and CAFOD activists in the Ribble Valley.