Hayley is a Ghost

Fighting hunger. A fight I support.

Posted on: November 26, 2011

I live close to the local Sainsbury’s store and went there today to buy some food for the weekend. As I entered the store there were two trollies in the entrance area that were slightly filled with dried goods, they had signs on them that explained how Sainsbury’s were doing a campaign to ‘help feed those in need’ called the ‘one million meal appeal’.

A photo of the shopping trollies/carts at the front of the store that people have already started to fill with pasta, rice and canned goods.

Essentially they were asking shoppers to spend an extra couple of pounds in store and donate dried goods (pasta, rice, sugar, tea, cans etc.) to the trollies. All donated goods are going to be sent to ‘Fareshare‘ and the company are going to match the donations made by customers.

The goods all go to Fareshare, who are, according to their website:

a national UK charity supporting communities to relieve food poverty. FareShare is at the centre of two of the most urgent issues that face the UK: food poverty and food waste.

You can find out more about how they help people here.

However, these stats are pretty awesome.

  • In 2010/11, the food redistributed by FareShare contributed towards more than 8.6 million meals
  • The FareShare Community Food Network has 700 Community Members across the UK receiving food, training and advice
  • Every day an average of 35,500 people benefit from the service FareShare provides

For my entire life I have taken food and drink for granted. As I grew older I became aware of famine effecting third world countries. It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve become aware of just how many people in this country go without food and drink because they cannot afford it – and not just the homeless.

The only time I have ever come close to not being able to buy food was during the few months I was on Job Seekers Allowance. My payments hadn’t been processed correctly and I had gone 6 weeks without any money. My family had been forced to support me and feed me and suddenly they couldn’t afford to do that any more and I had to beg a lady on the phone to give me an emergency loan of £40 just so I could go and buy some food and drink.

When I got to the Jobcentre to collect my cheque I was filled with such a sense of relief that it made me feel groggy. I then walked with the other dozens of people in the same position as me to the post office to cash our cheques in. It was horrible and humiliating and I promised myself I would do whatever I could to help others.

I am now in full time employment and when I saw this appeal in store I put my shopping aside for one moment and went and purchased as many dried goods as I could put on my debit card (I had no cash on me or it would have been much more), I paid for them and then put them in the trolly. The store manager was there and was surprised to see me emptying the whole basket into the donation trolley, but he thanked me and explained all about how they were to match all the donations. He was very passionate about it and that made it ever more awesome.

I spent £10.53 on donated food – it’s surprisisng how much rice, pasta, tea, coffee, sugar, cans of veg and soup, and hot chocolate you can buy for £10.53. (I put the hot chocolate in because everyone needs hot chocolate.)

photo of the goods I donated Two packs of rice, some pasta, tinned soup and vegetables, tea bags and coffee and a jar of hot chocolate - because let's face it, everyone needs hot chocolate.

One bag of Basics range rice costs 55p. One bag of pasta is 89p. A can of peas were 34p.

I could afford to buy these things and I’m glad to know that someone else will benefit from them. Sometimes being in need is a situation completely out of your control and it’s embarrassing and humiliating to have to ask for help. If that help is already in place though, it makes it so much more easier.

That’s why I supported Fareshare today with my donations. That’s why I’m asking that if you are out shopping today you consider popping into your nearest Sainsbury’s and donate £2 worth of tinned veg or pasta.


7 Responses to "Fighting hunger. A fight I support."

On one level, I admire the initiative. Doing good is doing good. On another, I don’t approve of the once a year use of ‘charity’ to promote a retail business. The net result is people are helped. However, I don’t like the commercialisation of giving. Well done for your actions. Of those, I really approve,

Actually, Sainsbury’s support Fareshare all year.

Excellent. I really approve. So many companies (and individuals) do a little bit of good and ease their conscience once a year to a backdrop of festive music.

Lovely gesture Hayley. I love your genuine compassion and I think I will do the same.

The food really does go a long way in not just physical support but emotional.
My sister, brother and I are living together and thanks to the high rate of unemployment where we live none of us has a job. We were running out of food and living on less than 1000 calories a day when last week a support worker checked in on us and brought along some bags of food. For the first time in months I feel like a human being with worth, a member of my community, and I feel more optimistic about our prospects. All thanks to about $30 Canadian dollars’ worth of food and toiletries.

Good on you, Hayley. I hope the other big supermarkets take it on board. There are precious few initiatives like this in Moscow where I currently live but I’ll be back in Blighty in Sainsbury’s before Christmas.

I’ve no real issue with the initiative in itself. The problem is wider. Fighting hunger is not the responsibility of a private company. It’s the responsibility of first world governments who prop up dictatorships and corrupt regimes in their own capitalist interests. The same regimes which impose trade barriers and are often content for hunger and poverty to be rife.

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Hayley is a ghost

Hayley Stevens is an advocate for science-based research into seemingly paranormal experiences and occurrences. With a background in the pseudo-scientific research into ghosts, Hayley offers a unique insight into the strange world of ghost hunting through her experience.

She describes herself as 'a ghost hunter who doesn't hunt for ghosts' and this is her personal blog where she writes about ghosts, people, and other interesting things. Read more here.

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