Our friends at the Student Christian Movement are partners with us in the End Hunger UK campaign. Here’s an update on how they’ve been getting students involved.
Two Birmingham Christian groups have joined the #EndHungerUK campaign, engaging members in a discussion about food poverty after watching a screening of the film I, Daniel Blake on Thursday 12 February. Members of Birmingham Catholic Society and Birmingham Methodist Society joined with two other SCM members in the area to watch the film and discuss actions they could take on the issue of hunger in the UK. The event was hosted by the Just Film Co-op in Birmingham.
Discussions included a lively mix of topics, including the impact of zero hour contracts on economic security, the poor and unjust treatment of people within the benefits system (as demonstrated so powerfully in the film), and the idea of foodbanks being only a temporary solution to an endemic structural problem.
The group also touched upon potential longer term solutions, including a cooperative system of distributing food and alternative ways to strengthen poor communities through employment.
Ruth Wilde, SCM’s Faith in Action project worker, said,
“This film is fiction but it is based in fact. Half a million people used food banks in the UK in 2015 – a shocking number that should stir us into action. As Christians, we must respond to this challenge through perseverance and constant dialogue, and it was encouraging to see students engaging so passionately and thoughtfully with the issues.
“Foodbanks cannot be the safety net. The government needs to look at what’s going wrong in the benefits system and admit that people are being sanctioned for the smallest infraction. Our government is putting lives at risk and enough people have already died because of the system. It needs to stop.”
In the next month, SCM plans to continue working with our student groups to get people thinking about the issue of UK food poverty, promoting further discussion. Follow us on Twitter (@SCM_Britain) or like us on Facebook for regular updates.
If you or your student group would like to host a ‘Big Conversation’ around the issue, or find out more about the campaign, visit SCM’s campaigns page here.