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Schools hold hunger lunches to highlight inequality

Two Catholic schools in East Anglia have hosted hunger lunches to draw attention to people across the world who often do not have enough to eat.

Sacred Heart School in Swaffham held its annual Rich and Poor Meal. Charities Prefect, Catherine Hazel, explained: "During Lent it is important to think about what we have in life and know how lucky we are because there are many less fortunate within our own communities and globally, who suffer daily. The rich and poor meal, and the frugal meals throughout Lent, allow us to reflect on how we can help those in need."

Pupils at St Mary’sSchool, Cambridge hosted ahunger lunch forFamily Fast Dayon February 23, to help communities around the world to grow crops and receive better nutrition as part of this year's CAFOD Lent fundraising campaign.

Instead of their usual lunchtime meal, studentshad the optionto enjoy a simple soup lunch which raised nearly £250. This will help fund agricultural training, education, and clean water projects for communities living in poverty.

Daniel Bennett, Head of Religious Education and Director of Christian Life, said: “Ourstudents took a few moments at lunch to stand in a gesture of solidarity with those around the world who go without.

"Students and staff who swapped their usual delicious and generous school lunch portions for a bowl of soup and a roll raised £245. The UK Government will doublethese contributionsto £490.”

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 Cambridge, Jane Crone, said: "The Lent appeal is such a great way of bringing people together and raising an incredible amount to help others.We want to say a massive thank you to thestudentsat St Mary'sfor organising this event and standinginsolidarity with communities who are living in poverty.

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.

In an added boost, all donations to CAFOD's Lent Appeal, up to £5 million, will be doubled by the UK government up until May 12.

Pictured top is the Poor Meal at Sacred Heart in Swaffham and, above the hunger lunch at St Mary's Cambridge.