Thank you to everyone who fulfilled their #MyStopHungerPledge this Stop Hunger Day! Find out more about the celebrations and discover why one charity champion challenged herself to 'go hungry' in support of the fight against hunger.
This year's annual Stop Hunger Day celebrations took place on the 15 May. In the lead up to Stop Hunger Day, Sodexo encouraged its employees to make a #MyStopHungerPledge to tackle hunger and malnutrition by volunteering and fundraising to support those most in need.
Across the UK and Ireland, more than 50 employees went out into their local ocmmunity and volunteered helping to support Stop Hunger charity partners including FareShare and Food Cloud. Sodexo's Sports & Leisure CEO, Chris Bray, and his team helped to paint and organise a new space for, Divine Rescue, a charity that supports the homeless and vulnerable with life skills and the importance of healthy eating.
Fundraising activities also took place up and down the region with activities including bake sales, sponsored walks, 'vitual walks' across Cyprus and climbs up Ben Nevis, with the aim to raise money and bring awareness to the work of the Stop Hunger Foundation.
Thank you to everyone who particpated and to all those who fulfilled their #MyStopHungerPledge. You all made a difference in the fight against hunger!
Louise Wiseman, Stop Hunger charity champion for Sodexo’s Stevenage office, took part in a challenge that drew attention to the plight of hunger in the UK and Ireland. In her story below, she explains why she challenged herself to 'go hungry' for Stop Hunger Day. Discover her reasons, the experience and what she learnt.
Louise Wiseman, Sodexo Service Operations (pictured right in main photo):
“On Stop Hunger Day 2019 (15 May) I went ‘hungry’ to raise money for Stop Hunger. For one day, I drank nothing but water and filled my appetite with small and sparse dishes - a bowl of porridge for breakfast, a small bowl of pasta for lunch and a bowl of rice for dinner.
“The food and water I had kept me ticking, and I was not starving by any means. I also had the added benefit of knowing I only had to survive on that amount of sustenance for 24 hours. I am fortunate to have the safety net of knowing a challenge like this would not last for long. I have always known when my next meal is, and I have the freedom to choose what it will be - unfortunately, this is not the same for everyone.
“The story of my ‘day of plight’ pales into insignificance to those who are suffering from hunger every single day, but incredibly in that short time that I went hungry, I learnt a lot.
I’m rarely ever hungry
“Even though I did eat throughout the day, I was hungry. I mean really hungry. My stomach ached and I was craving everything and anything. Quite honestly, I can’t remember the last time I felt that way.
“I am guilty of eating when I’m not hungry and most of the time I feel full! One of the lessons I learnt from this experience is that I need to stop eating when I am full and not eat for the sake of it. Participating in the ‘going hungry’ challenge taught me that I can say no more often for my own health, but also to reduce my overall intake. If everyone did this more often, think of the food we would save!
Food is a social thing
“During the evening of Stop Hunger Day, I prepared my family our favourite meal of chicken wraps, spicy rice and tortilla chips loaded with cheese. I sat with my small bowl of rice and water and watched as my children enjoyed their food and commented on how yummy it was. We would normally have a conversation about what else we’ve eaten that day and what if for dessert! As I cradled my bowl of rice that night, I was struck by how much I felt I was missing out on.
“I didn’t want to talk about food because I couldn’t have any and I barely wanted to look at my children enjoying their own, not because I was jealous, but because I realised I was missing out on that enjoyment with them - the social and bonding aspect of eating the food together, the taste, the smell, the talking about it, the joy of food!
“This got me thinking just how social food is, how when we say ‘food’ it often means much more than the food itself. Most of my happy memories are laced with food and I bet yours are too!
“When we spend time with family it will often involve a meal - we go out on dates which involve a meal, street food or cinema snacks, picnics with our children, a catch up over Nando’s with our mates, fruit for loved ones in hospital, wedding breakfasts. I could go on! Imagine all of those scenarios minus the food element.
“Those who are hungry might not have those moments.
It’s hard to function when you’re hungry
“Without my usual intake of food (and admittedly coffee too), by 3pm I had a headache, I was dizzy and I couldn’t concentrate. I was asking people to repeat what they had said to me because I just couldn’t absorb information anymore.
“I’m lucky that I have my secure job and my Sodexo colleagues knew what I was challenging myself. The experience got me thinking about hungry children in school and what issues being hungry might cause them in the long term with their exams, social interaction with their school mates and even how that issues can spill over to life outside of school.
“My experience has taught me so much and highlighted how much of an impact being hungry can have on both individuals and society. It has given me a renewed faith that fighting hunger can make a difference to all those that are affected by it.
“You can help Stop Hunger by taking action in your local community - why not set up a fundraising activity or sign up to volunteer? These small actions make a big change to those most affected. I will continue my work as a charity champion to support Stop Hunger’s vision of talking hunger and malnutrition.
“For one day I felt the harshness hunger can cause, and I hope that one day no one else will. With your help, we can get there and Stop Hunger!”
If you have been inspired by Louise’s story, help us and make your #MyStopHungerPledge today! You can still make your #MyStopHungerPledge and get involved with activities to support Stop Hunger this summer - click here to see how you can help. You can also email us via StopHunger.UKandIE@sodexo.com for more information.
This is not an endorsement of participating in ‘going hungry’. Participating in this activity is done so at your own risk. It is not recommended that you participate in this activity before seeking medical advice from a healthcare professional.