Catholics in Thame have hosted ‘family fast days’ to help communities around the world grow crops and receive better nutrition as part of this year’s CAFOD Lent fundraising campaign.
Parishioners at St Joseph’s Church hosted their fast day where the community enjoyed a simple meal and donate the money saved to charity.
The group organised a lunchtime event where they provided seven mouth-watering soups which could be enjoyed for a small donation.
The event managed to raise nearly £400 which will help fund agricultural training, education and clean water projects for communities living in poverty.
All donations to CAFOD’s Lent Appeal, up to £5 million, will be doubled by the UK government up until May 12.
Theresa Buchanan, a CAFOD volunteer who helped to organise the event, said: “It was great to see the turnout. We had a really lovely lunch, raising £367 for CAFOD.”
Worldwide, one in nine people regularly go hungry. Malnutrition kills almost three million children a year. Even for a child who survives malnutrition, their growth can be stunted and it can cause irreversible damage to mental development.
This Lent, CAFOD is working to combat malnutrition in Zimbabwe by providing seeds and farming training for families and communities so that everyone has enough to eat.
CAFOD’s representative in Thame, Julia Hood, said: “Thank you St Joseph’s for putting on such a successful and wonderful event and to those who gave their time and skills to make the soup and to those who supported the event. It was a great show of solidarity and care!
“The Lent appeal is such a great way of bringing people together and raising an incredible amount to help others. I’m delighted that the UK government is matching donations made, showing how important the money raised will be for some of the world’s poorest people.”
The funds raised by CAFOD’s Lent appeal will reach an estimated 245,000 people in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Eritrea and enable communities to grow a better future by providing safe water, supporting communities to plant vegetable gardens and teaching them about good nutrition and hygiene.
It will also provide training for families on farming techniques to grow drought-resistant crops and for nurses and village health workers on how to spot and prevent malnutrition.
CAFOD will also continue its work with communities across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, to tackle poverty and injustice, so that everyone can reach their full potential.
Donate to the Lent Appeal at cafod.org.uk/lent