In 2015 Shelagh Lochery, working in the Edmund Rice Office, Woodeaves, became connected with a project in Wythenshawe working on setting up a Food Hub to supply Food Banks in the area. Links were made with Jacqueline Narynsingh and Pam Moran working on Food Poverty issues. Jacqueline delivered a presentation to the ERI group in St. Ambrose College. At the time teacher, Dale Krause, supported the group and quickly got them involved in supporting the Food Hub becoming advocates of local food poverty lobbying local Member of Parliament, Mike Kane, and raising awareness of the issues.
Report from Dale Krause on one of the initiatives of the ERI (Edmund Rice International) Group in St. Ambrose College in 2016.
The ERI Group at St Ambrose College held a ‘UK Hunger Awareness’ week from the 7th November until 11th November 2016 to coincide with the ‘End Hunger UK Campaign’.
Monday saw a ‘shared meal’ where each guest contributed an item of food up to the value of £1 – a rather eclectic meal ensued! In attendance were Brother Martin O’Flaherty & Brother Tony Twomey from the Congregation’s Salford Community; Tom Murray & Shelagh Lochery from the Edmund Rice Office; Jacqueline Narynsingh & Pam Moran from the Wythenshawe Food Bank Hub; Miss Waters and her Edmund Rice Advocacy Group from St Ambrose Preparatory School; Sister Eileen & Sister Katherine from the Loreto Convent in Altrincham and Nick Webster a former St Ambrose College student and recent intern at ERI in Geneva. The meal was a great success and it wonderful to see so many members of the Edmund Rice Network gathered together. It was commented upon by one person that the spirit of Edmund felt very much alive and well within the room.
The St Ambrose College Film Club, led by Mrs Barlow, showed a hunger related film on Monday and Tuesday lunchtime; all proceeds went towards buying food and toiletry items for our local food bank.
All PSHE lessons on Tuesday and Thursday were on the subject of UK food poverty and on Wednesday the Sixth Form gentlemen delivered a special presentation on food poverty to all thirty-two forms across the college.
Wednesday lunchtime saw a special ‘Hunger Meal’ option offered by Mrs. Allen in our canteen; a great deal of boys across the school opted for this meagre meal in place of their usual and decidedly more extravagant refection; this proved a great act of witness. On Wednesday afternoon Mrs. Alford’s Sixth Form cookery class were cooking on a budget using whatever was in the cupboard and produced main courses or desserts for £1.
On Thursday morning over 700 boys brought in items of food and toiletries that were taken later that day to the Wythenshawe Food Bank Hub where they were gratefully received. Thursday lunchtime saw Miss Waters bring her Edmund Rice Advocacy Group down from the Prep to do a ‘Bake off on a Budget’ challenge in our Food Technology lab. Also all week Mrs. Alford, our resident Chef and Food Technology Teacher, was encouraging the boys to think about the cost of ingredients; the cakes that the 2nd Years made cost roughly £1 which is the amount that some families have to spend on food every day.
The whole week culminated with a thought provoking assembly from Amy, the manager of the Central Manchester Food Bank on Friday. All in all, an excellent week which did a lot to raise awareness of food poverty locally and build links within the network.
When Edmund Rice looked out of his window in Waterford, he saw poor children on the street, and felt driven to help them. As teachers in Edmund Rice Schools it is important that we encourage our pupils to adopt the same attitude: to look outside of our school window and see who needs helping nearby.
Anyone wishing to know more or support the Wythenshawe Food Hub please contact Shelagh Lochery, email@example.com
O God, we thank you for the life of Edmund Rice.
He opened his heart to Christ present in those oppressed by poverty and injustice.
May we follow his example of faith and generosity.
Grant us the courage and compassion of Edmund as we seek to live lives of love and service.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.