A Chelmsford parish have raised over £1000 by coming together and eating simply, in a bid to help the millions who face starvation in East Africa.
Across March and April, parishioners from Blessed Sacrament have hosted a series of Soup Lunches. Around 20 people have attended each lunch and all have enjoyed the delicious homemade soups on offer, the most unusual flavour this year being rhubarb and beetroot! A raffle is also taking place, with prizes of theatre tickets, afternoon tea and an Easter egg hamper.
CAFOD volunteer and co-organiser Eileen Webster said:
“We see lunches as a way of building community, giving older people a chance to socialise, having a friendly and enjoyable few hours as well as helping those in need. It’s a way of doing something positive and living our faith.”
Blessed Sacrament have been holding Soup Lunches during Lent for the past 20 years but this year they decided the money raised should specifically go to CAFOD’s East Africa appeal. Their decision reflects a wider feeling across the country – the response from communities across the UK has been incredible. In the space of one week, supporters of CAFOD, have raised over £1 million for the East Africa Crisis Appeal, meaning that vital aid is reaching the most vulnerable families.
In East Africa, there are currently over 16 million people in need of urgent food and other life-saving assistance. Despite the challenges, CAFOD makes sure that aid reaches the families who are most in need, through the network of trusted local organisations which CAFOD works with in South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
Chris Bain, CAFOD’s Director, said:
“We would like to say a huge thanks to supporters in the Catholic community in England and Wales who once again have given generously, coming together to help communities affected by drought and conflict. Across England and Wales, our supporters have been giving whatever they can; as individuals, schools and parishes.”
“The generosity of the British population as a whole has also been heart-warming. CAFOD is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), whose East Africa Crisis Appeal has raised over £42 million.”