Church Action on Poverty Media Manager, Gavin Aitchison, tells us how one crafty community in Devon raised awareness of food poverty by rather unusual methods!
Campaigners do all manner of things to spread the End Hunger UK message. Flyers, petitions, meetings and letters – they all help and we love to hear what you’ve been up to.
But one group of supporters in Devon have shared the message in a whole new and spectacular way – by decorating their town with amazing displays of crocheted crops and knitted nibbles.
The supporters in Crediton ‘yarn bombed’ their town square, decorating it with knitted items such as bunting, cakes, fried eggs and vegetables, and attached facts and messages about food poverty and how to solve it.
The idea came from Lauren Stacey, a local church youth worker, and was organised by Christians Together in Crediton, to help raise awareness of local and national food poverty. They were stirred to act after hearing how busy Crediton Foodbank had been last summer, when many families were swept into deeper difficulties, and shelves ran empty.
We asked Chris Parsons, the Crediton foodbank coordinator, to take up the story and here’s what she said: “Local knitting groups, guide groups and individuals have been secretly knitting and sewing and we hope the display will have a positive impact. Local children have made labels to hang around the display with various facts and figures on about food poverty.
“An unexpected outcome (for me anyway) was the excitement and enthusiasm the yarn bombing generated in the knitters and crafters; people of all ages, from all walks of life, individuals who are very isolated, knitting groups etc – they were all able to feel part of something a lot bigger and play a part in standing up against injustice that they might never have thought they could do.”
In particular, the group highlighted the need to reduce the wait for first Universal Credit payments, supporting the Trussell Trust’s #5weekstoolong campaign. This is a vital campaign, showing why the waiting period for initial payments must be reduced. People moving on to Universal Credit need to be supported, not swept into debt and poverty from day one.
So from all of us at End Hunger UK: thank you and bravo to the Crediton team. This is definitely one of the most creative and impressive projects we’ve seen.
We love hearing how supporters and campaigners around the country are helping to improve public understanding of food poverty, and helping to show how we can help to create a more just, compassionate society in which everyone has access to good food.
Have you been involved in a project in your community, to help challenge food poverty? If you’d like to share it with End Hunger UK supporters, please get in touch.