Hunger Hut opens in Birmingham

Published 07 March 2014
The Bishop of Birmingham (centre), the Right Reverend David Urquhart, with dignitaries and community leaders at the opening of the Hunger Hut

Faith leaders came together in Birmingham city centre this week to open a Hunger Hut in Cathedral Square.

The hut was erected as part of the church-led End Hunger Fast campaign calling upon the Government to take action against the spiralling number of people in Britain needing emergency food hand outs. 

The hut was opened on Ash Wednesday by the Bishop of Birmingham, the Lord and Lady Mayoress, faith leaders, foodbank representatives and community groups.

It will serve as a place of prayer and fundraising, and an information point to raise awareness of the situation. The foodbank representatives also received Hunger Journals that they will use to collect the stories of people going without enough food to eat each day.

The End Hunger Fast campaign has challenged Christians to fast in solidarity with those going hungry because of factors like unemployment, benefit cuts and high food costs. 

In Birmingham, local Christians are fundraising to provide breakfasts for the homeless and lobby the Government to ensure a safety net is in place for those facing hunger. 

At the launch of the Hunger Hut, ash thumbprints were collected in support of the open letter sent by Church leaders to the Government on behalf of hungry Brits two weeks ago. 

The Bishop of Birmingham, the Right Reverend David Urquhart said: "I am delighted to be opening the Hunger Hut which is a powerful visual symbol of the concern we have for those who do not have enough to eat in this city.

"It is a scandal that in the seventh richest nation in the world more than half a million people have needed to use a foodbank in the last year and thousands have been admitted to hospital suffering from malnutrition.

"It is the bread and butter work of Christians to follow the example of Jesus by rolling up their sleeves and work against injustice, speaking up for those who do not have a voice. The season of Lent with its focus on repentance and fasting is a good time for us to speak, pray and act for justice."

A national day of fasting is being held on April 4 and the Hunger Journals will be presented to MPs in London on April 16.

Find out more about the campaign at www.endhungerfast.co.uk

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